How do you create a success story during a worldwide pandemic?

DRA’s project delivery relationship with Ivanhoe Mines started on the high-grade platinum-group metals, nickel and copper Platreef Project in South Africa. It was on this project that DRA demonstrated its experienced capability in project delivery which proved to be a key differentiator for the organisation on Kakula. 

At the beginning of 2020, our design and fabrication phases for the Kamoa Kakula project were at their height. However, due to the onset of the COVID-19 lockdowns, our design teams were required to work from home while our construction teams were onsite for extended periods of time. This different way of working required some out-the-box thinking to develop unique solutions for these challenges. To ensure the project stayed on budget, the Kamoa Copper and engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) project teams facilitated agile procurement and fabrication approach, whereby multiple factories were used globally. The scope was continually adapted depending on the evolution of the pandemic to ensure the project stayed on track – resulting in completion of the project ahead of schedule.


Below are some of the Kamoa Kakula project scope highlights.


  • >7% copper grade in initial mining zones
  • 7m x 7m development ends
  • 65 Km of developed to date.
  • Mining Fleet – 62 ton dump trucks & 21 ton LHD’s
  • Underground pump stations – total capacity 5500 l/s
  • 3 Mtpa paste backfill plant – to date largest in world.
  • 2000 tph decline rock handling system.

Processing plant highlights:

  • 2 off 3.8 Mtpa copper processing plants
    • 100 000 m3 civils
    • 14 000 t structural steel
    • 140 Km piping
    • 400 Km cabling
  • 23 months - start to first concentrate on initial 3.8 Mtpa module
  • 1st time HPGR technology being used in DRC
  • Initial 3.8 Mtpa Module, consistently operating at 22% more than name plate capacity.
  • Expansion to 9.2 Mtpa started

Bulk infrastructure highlights:

  • 40 Km access highway
  • Bulk ore stockpile – 3.8 mil tonnes
  • Tailings disposal facility
  • Storm water management system
  • 80 MVA @ 220 kV power supply infrastructure – Incl. 40 Km overhead line
  • Kakula camp – village for initial 2000 people

Site Photos