In addition to improved concentrate recoveries, the company reported a simplification of its process for producing concentrate compared to its previous laboratory flowsheet. Ivanhoe expects to see reduced up-front capital costs as well as reduced risks and operational costs as a result.He with the lowest arsenic wins Also worth noting is that the latest metallurgical testwork produced concentrate with very low levels of arsenic - an important consideration for anyone running a copper smelter. Copper and arsenic are aften found together, but the latter can be a problem for copper smelters as arsenic containing byproducts usually need to be disposed of in accordance with strict environmental guidelines. Smelters in China, the world's largest consumer of the red metal, have set the limit at 0.5 percent for arsenic in copper concentrate, and miners such as Chile's Codelco have gone to such lengths as buying clean, standard concentrate and blending it with "dirty" concentrate from their own mines to deal with high arsenic levels. Furthermore, the Financial Times suggests that the development of higher-arsenic deposits that were previously overlooked is a sign of declining ore grades, also noting the trouble that the contaminant creates for both miners and smelter owners. However arsenic doesn't look to be an issue for Ivanhoe's Kamoa project. Arsenic levels in concentrate from Kamoa measured just 0.010 percent - less than a tenth of China's limit, and the miner stated that concentrate from Kamoa "should attract a premium from concentrate traders." Presumably, Ivanhoe could have other miners with high-arsenic concentrate vying for its wares as well. What's next? Currently, Ivanhoe is conducting a pre-feasibility study for Kamoa based on plans for an initial three-million-tonne-per-annum mine and concentrator. It will also continue drilling the initial, high-grade development area in Kansoko Sud area over the remainder of 2014. To be sure, investors interested in the copper space will no doubt want to keep an eye out for further drill results from Kamoa this year, and for the eventual release of the pre-feasibility study for the project. At close of day today, shares of Ivanhoe were up 0.85 percent trading at $1.19.
Securities Disclosure: I, Teresa Matich, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article. Related reading: Can Robert Friedland Save South African Palladium? Ivanhoe Mines Reports Higher Recoveries, Low Arsenic for Kamoa Project, DRC from Copper Investing News