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CENTRAL AFRICA | DRC Tenke Fungurume mining operations Tenke Fungurume The DRC’s copper GOLIATH Tenke Fungurume’s operational status and achievements have continued to impress since it delivered its first copper in 2009. Today it is one of the largest copper producers in the DRC and the world’s premier cobalt producer as well. And while the mine achieved its best production figures yet (in 2013), following a mine and process plant expansion, its potential to grow further is already on parent company Freeport-McMoRan’s radar, writes Laura Cornish. averaged 14 900 tpd of ore last year, compared with original design capacity of 14 000 tpd. Possible additional expansions down the line are expected to be completed in 2016,” says Horst Garz, TFM general manager. evaluate the greater potential of the highly prospective district at Tenke Fungurume. “These analyses are being incorporated within future plans to evaluate expansion opportunities. We expect production volumes from the project will continue to expand significantly over time although we are aware and do acknowledge that such future expansions are subject to a number of factors such as economic and market conditions, availability of electric energy and the business and investment climate in the DRC,” Garz outlines. With a significant expansion already under its belt, within a relatively short timeframe since production first started, TFM continues to engage in drilling activities, exploration analyses and metallurgical testing to TFM’s future plans are well aligned with its mining right entitlement. Freeport-McMoRan president Bill Harris explains. “We are permitted to mine in the DRC under an Amended and Restated Mining Convention IN SHORT The Tenke Fungurume copper/cobalt mine has achieved remarkable growth in the first five years of its lifespan and this is unlikely the end of its ongoing production story. K atanga, DRC-based Tenke mine owner Tenke Fungurume Mining (TFM), in which Freeport-McMoRan (FMX) owns a 56% stake, has realised a steady and substantial increase in copper and cobalt production between 2011 and 2013 – climbing in the space of two years from 127 000 to 209 800 t (metric) of copper and 11 200 to 12 800 t of cobalt. The production spike, “whose numbers represented record copper sales for TFM in 2013, is primarily the result of a second phase expansion project in early 2013, which included optimising the current plant and increasing mine, mill and processing capacity. The expanded mill facility throughput rates 16 MINING REVIEW AFRICA ISSUE 9 2014 Tenke Fungurume production (metric tons) 2011 2012 2013 Copper 127 400 t 157 700 t 209 800 t Cobalt 11 200 t 11 700 t 12 800 t