Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. [IVN-TSX; IVPAF-OTC] shares advanced on Monday October 1 after the company said it has made an important new discovery of high-grade copper on its 100%-owned Western Foreland licences in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
These licenses cover 700 km2 of prospective ground and are located to the west of its Kamoa-Kakula Project, which ranks as the world’s fourth largest copper discovery.
A mineral resource estimate released in February, 2018 states that Kamoa-Kakula contains an indicated mineral resource of 1.03 billion tonnes at 3.17% copper, or 72 billion pounds of copper, plus an additional 182 million tonnes of inferred mineral resources at 2.31% copper at a 1.5% cut-off.
So far, the company has drilled more than 50 holes, the great majority of which have been in the Makoko Discovery area, Ivanhoe said in a press release, Monday.
Makoko is one of a number of targets on the Western Foreland licences. Makoko has been drilled over an area measuring 4.5 by 1.5 kilometres and shows characteristics that are identical to the tier one Kamoa-Kakula discoveries.
The Makoko discovery hole intersected 3.94 (true width) of 5.46% copper, at a 2.0% copper cut-off, and 3.94 metres (true width) of 5.46% copper at a 1.0% copper cut-off, from a downhole depth of 306 metres.
On Monday, Ivanhoe shares jumped 7.27% or 20 cents to $2.95 on volume of over 2 million. The shares are trading in a 52-week range of $2 and $5.01.
Ivanhoe Mines is headed by billionaire financier Robert Friedland. Kamoa-Kakula is one of three projects that the company is advancing in Southern Africa. They also include:
- Mine development at the Platreef platinum-palladium-gold-nickel copper discovery on the Northern Limb of South Africa’s Bushveld Complex.
- The high-grade Kipushi zinc-copper-silver-germanium mine, in the DRC.
“This latest discovery at Makoko validates our exploration model for the geologic features controlling the high-grade copper mineralization in the region,” Friedland said in a press release. “This model reflects the accumulation of in-depth, proprietary geological insights gained by Ivanhoe’s exploration team during nearly two decades of exploring in the region,” he said.
“Given the early drilling success at Makoko, we are highly confident that we have the secret blueprint for additional exploration successes in the Western Foreland area in 2019 and beyond.”
Ivanhoe recently signed a long-term strategic co-operation and investment agreement with CITIC Metal Ltd., a subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned CITIC Group.
Under the agreement, Ivanhoe pledged to issue 196.6 million common shares to CITIC Metal through a private placement priced at $2.68 per share, yielding proceeds of $723 million (US $560 million).
As a result, CITIC has emerged as Ivanhoe’s largest single shareholder with a 19.9% stake in the company, ahead of Ivanhoe Chairman Robert Friedland’s 17% interest.