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  • Writer's pictureShernel Thielman

President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Inaugurates Kamoa Centre of Excellence

Robert Friedland, Executive Co-Chair, and Marna Cloete, President of Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN), have announced a significant event in which His Excellency Félix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, visited the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Complex. The purpose of his visit was to officially inaugurate the Kamoa Centre of Excellence and address the workforce.

The Kamoa Centre of Excellence, which was recently completed, is strategically situated between the Kamoa-Kakula operations and the town of Kolwezi on the DRC Copperbelt. It was built by Kamoa Copper S.A. with the goal of producing a new generation of leaders not only for Kamoa-Kakula but also for the mining industry within the DRC and beyond. The center welcomed its first class of Congolese students in September.

During his address, His Excellency Félix Tshisekedi, DRC President, commented on the significance of the Kamoa Centre of Excellence:

"We just visited [the Kamoa Centre of Excellence]. It will train generations of Congolese to work in the mining sector, enabling them to become themselves great leaders of the industry and to lead this country in the most beautiful way for the happiness of the Congolese people.

"I see the investments that Kamoa Copper are making in the development of the value chain of copper production in our country. It will add value to our [economic] output, increasing wealth and create employment opportunities for the Congolese.

"We have invested a lot in infrastructure because we know that without it, we cannot have, or guarantee the development of our country. We have invested a significant amount, and I must say thank you to the contributions of our partners the World Bank, China, the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, etc. All these partners have come to our aid because they believe today in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They wish to be by our side to see what my country can become. A country that will create millions of jobs thanks to the industrialization policy that we have adopted."

Kamoa Copper is committed to enhancing the skills and empowerment of its local workforce. Despite only commencing commercial operations in July 2021, the representation of full-time Congolese employees at Kamoa Copper currently stands at around 97%. The company employs modern, mechanized mining techniques that necessitate highly trained operators. While Kamoa-Kakula's operations continue to expand, the goal is to further bolster the Congolese workforce and provide training opportunities at all levels to nurture the careers of the local talent.

Both the Kamoa Centre of Excellence and the existing Kansoko Training Centre at Kamoa-Kakula serve as platforms for higher education and vocational training. They aim to educate and prepare young Congolese individuals for successful careers within the mining industry.

The Kamoa Centre of Excellence commenced its operations in September 2023 with an inaugural class of 39 Congolese students. The demand was notably high, and all students received scholarships that covered tuition fees, course materials, transportation, food, and a laptop. The curriculum, developed in partnership with the Enterprises University of Pretoria, encompasses a one-year program with modules covering English language proficiency, computational thinking, creative problem-solving, basic financial literacy, workplace ethics, introduction to mining, project management, and entrepreneurship development.

The number of students admitted will be expanded in the future. The recently completed first phase of the Kamoa Centre of Excellence has the capacity to accommodate up to 150 students and includes a reception building, a café, an administration office, two lecture rooms, a multi-purpose hall, and related facilities. These buildings have been thoughtfully designed by leading architects to create a conducive learning environment in harmony with the landscape of Lualaba province. Investment Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice, endorsement, or recommendation regarding Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN) or any investment. Before making any investment decisions, individuals should conduct their own research and seek professional guidance. Investing in mining and related industries involves inherent risks, and past performance is not indicative of future results.

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