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Ivanhoe Mines and SES to Continue Deploying Low-latency Satellite Connectivity in Africa
Extended partnership will see Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project in the DRC benefit from SES’s O3b high-throughput, low-latency medium earth orbit connectivity to support industry-leading operational technologies and staff welfare
Luxembourg, 23 January – The Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project in The Democratic Republic of Congo will continue to enjoy high-speed satellite-based connectivity services as part of a new agreement between Ivanhoe Mines and SES, the two companies announced today. The enhanced partnership builds on a successful five-year relationship between SES and Ivanhoe Mines and comes at a time of significant investment in low-latency, high-capacity solutions in the region following the boom in the African mining industry.
The O3b constellation is powering connectivity for leading mining operators, driving a digitalisation revolution for the sector that is helping to increase profitability while improving worker safety and accountability. This model enables operators to cost-effectively scale connectivity as needed throughout the lifecycle of a mine, ensuring assets have the right amount of bandwidth at any given time to meet digitalisation requirements.
Caroline Kamaitha, Vice President, Sales Africa at SES, said: “We’re proud to continue delivering reliable high-speed connectivity to DRC’s mining industry through our O3b high-throughput and low-latency connectivity services, enabling mining companies to implement new services and applications that will improve workers’ safety, digitalise operations and maximise profitability through increased agility and automation.”
Anil Udayabhanu, Head of Technology at Kamoa Copper, said: “Our long-standing partnership with SES has already helped us to improve the profitability of our extraction, and supported our goal of improving the safety and welfare of all of our staff. In addition to that, O3b connectivity services will also help us leverage the latest applications, communicate in real time and maximise our productivity.”
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The Kamoa-Kakula Copper Mine — a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines (39.6%), Zijin Mining Group (39.6%), Crystal River Global Limited (0.8%) and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (20%) — is a very large, near-surface, flat-lying, stratiform copper deposit with adjacent prospective exploration areas within the Central African Copperbelt, approximately 25 kilometres west of the town of Kolwezi and about 270 kilometres west of the provincial capital of Lubumbashi.
Kamoa-Kakula began producing copper concentrates in May 2021 and began commercial production on July 1, 2021. Phased expansion is projected to make Kamoa-Kakula the second largest copper complex globally. Kamoa-Kakula is powered by clean, renewable hydro-generated electricity and is projected to be among the world’s lowest greenhouse gas emitters per unit of metal produced, as confirmed by a 2020 independent audit performed by Hatch Ltd., of Mississauga, Canada. The Kakula Mine will have one of the most favourable environmental footprints of any tier-one copper mine worldwide. Along with a relatively small surface footprint, approximately 55% of the mine’s tailings will be pumped back into underground workings. Ivanhoe Mines has pledged to achieve net-zero operational greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 and 2) at the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Mine.