Ivanhoe Mines’ Co-Chairmen Robert Friedland and Yufeng “Miles” Sun have confirmed that the company has continued to have strategic discussions regarding its 100%-owned Western Forelands Project that adjoins its Kamoa-Kakula mining licence also in DRC, as well as its Platreef palladium-platinum-nickel-copper-rhodium-gold project on the Northern Limb of South Africa’s Bushveld Complex.
Ivanhoe Mines is a Canadian mining company focused on advancing its three principal projects in Southern Africa: the development of new mines at the Kamoa-Kakula copper discoveries in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Platreef palladium-platinum-nickel-copper-rhodium-gold discovery in South Africa; and the extensive redevelopment and upgrading of the historic Kipushi zinc-copper-germanium-silver mine, also in the DRC.
Executive Co-Chairman Robert Friedland said, “2020 has been an extraordinary year in many ways. In our industry, it has seen a remarkable rebound in metals prices. The weighted ‘basket’ of the prices for palladium, rhodium, gold and nickel, measured in South African Rand terms, is near all-time highs. Copper has hit two-year highs, silver is at seven-year highs, and gold has surpassed its 2011 peak to reach an all-time high above US$1,900 per ounce. Our tier-one projects in Africa will produce all of these metals.”
“The unparalleled exploration potential for new high-grade copper discoveries on our wholly-owned, Western Foreland exploration licences that total more than 2,500 square kilometres; the recent progress toward putting our tier-one Platreef palladium-platinum-nickel-copper-rhodium-gold project in South Africa into production; and the unrivalled zinc, copper and silver grades in our Kipushi Project in the DRC, are each generating significant attention.”
Mr. Friedland continued, “Not surprisingly in this environment, we have been receiving daily inquiries from companies across the industry and world, from the West as well as China, and from streaming companies and various bank and non-bank lenders, inquiring about investing in these great projects. That level of interest requires that we critically examine these opportunities, which we are now doing.“
A number of mining companies have expressed interest in advancing exploration activities at the wholly-owned Western Forelands copper project. In addition, the company is continuing to have strategic discussions regarding its Kipushi zinc-copper-silver-lead-germanium mine in the DRC.
Finally, several expressions of interest have also been received from streaming companies interested in the Platreef palladium-platinum-nickel-copper-rhodium-gold project in South Africa. This is in addition to ongoing talks with a number of bank and non-bank commercial lenders.
Ivanhoe Mines also anticipates releasing its updated definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the Platreef Project this quarter, which will include a preliminary economic analysis (PEA) on the phased-development production plan for the Platreef Project. The DFS will take into account refreshed and improved metal prices and foreign exchange assumptions since the 2017 DFS.
Ivanhoe Mines indirectly owns 64% of the Platreef Project through its subsidiary, Ivanplats. The South African beneficiaries of the approved broad-based, black economic empowerment structure have a 26% stake in the Platreef Project. The remaining 10% is owned by a Japanese consortium of ITOCHU Corporation; Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation; and Japan Gas Corporation.
As well, work is progressing on the independent Kakula DFS and an updated Integrated Development Plan for the entire Kamoa-Kakula mining complex at the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project, which is expected to be finalized in August.
The Integrated Development Plan will include details on the planned expansion phases for the greater Kamoa-Kakula mining complex, incorporating updates for mineral resources, production rates and economic analysis.
The Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project is a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines (39.6%), Zijin Mining Group (39.6%), Crystal River Global Limited (0.8%) and the DRC government (20%).
The Kipushi Project is a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines (68%) and the DRC’s state-owned mining company, Gécamines (32%).