Robert Friedland was inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame earlier this month, and this morning`s news out of Ivanhoe Mines (IVN) offered another demonstration why he belongs there.
Ivanhoe announced a major new copper discovery, Kakula, about 5 kilometres west of its existing Kamoa resource in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Kamoa is a joint venture with China`s Zijin Mining.
The high-grade, flat-lying stratiform discovery was made with the final two drill holes of the 2015 exploration program. The holes rank among the highest-grade in the mining licence area and the flat-lying nature of the discovery makes it amenable to low-cost mechanized mining, according to Ivanhoe.
DKMC_DD996 intersected 24.16 metres (24.13 metres true width) of 3.48% copper, at a 1% copper cut off. At a higher cut-off of 2% copper, the intersection was 13.16 metres (13.14 metres true width) of 5.26% copper.
DKMC_DD997 intersected 18.75 metres (18.47 metres true width) of 4.64% copper at a 1% copper cut-off and 15.17 metres (14.94 metres true width) of 5.33% copper at a 2% copper cut-off.
“The Kamoa copper deposit already is distinguished as the world’s largest, undeveloped, high-grade copper discovery,” Friedland stated. “The Kakula Discovery has the combination of significant thickness, high grades and strike length that holds promise for significant and rapid expansion of the Kamoa copper deposit.
“The Kakula discovery not only shows the potential to substantially increase the size of the Kamoa Copper Deposit, it also highlights the potential for new discoveries to the west of Kolwezi in the Congolese copperbelt.”
Kamoa was a grassroots discovery that was made in 2008 based on soil sampling by the Ivanhoe exploration team, which received the 2015 Thayer Lindsley International Discovery Award for the achievement. It`s the highest-grade undeveloped copper deposit in the world.
During a 2014 site visit to Kamoa — before Zijin`s US$412-million investment — Friedland said financing concerns were overblown.
“World class ore bodies finance themselves,” Friedland told CEO.CA founder Tommy Humphreys. “In fact, people fight to finance them.”
“This is the world’s richest undeveloped copper resource. Come back in 10 years and it will happen. The world moves forward.”
The Kakula discovery holes were 400-metre step-outs north and east from drill hole DKMC_DD942, which intercepted 13.50 metres (13.49 metres true width) of 4.15% copper, at a 2% copper cut off.
Completion of an 800-metre-spacing infill grid over the Kakula Discovery area is planned for 2016.
Ivanhoe`s two other world-class ore bodies are Platreef, its South African platinum-palladium deposit, and Kipushi, another high-grade copper deposit also in DRC.
On an African dog and pony show with mining mogul Robert Friedland, by Tommy Humphreys
An African Triple Crown: Ivanhoe Mines, by Riley Skinner