SANTIAGO, Chile, April 1 /CNW/ - Robert M. Friedland, Chairman of Ivanhoe
Nickel & Platinum (Ivanplats) and Ivanhoe Capital Corporation, announced today
in an opening keynote address at the 8th World Copper Conference that
Ivanplats has made a major copper discovery of historic importance at its
100%-owned Kamoa Project, west of Kolwezi, in the Democratic Republic of
Congo's Katanga province.
Sharing the news with a large audience of copper industry principals,
representatives of financial institutions and investors, Mr. Friedland said
that drilling at Kamoa has discovered laterally continuous, sediment-hosted,
high-grade stratiform copper mineralization in a newly discovered copper
district that forms a previously unrecognized western extension of the famous
Central African Copperbelt - which hosts such world-class deposits such as
Kolwezi, Tenke-Fungurume, Konkola and Nchanga.
"Our Kamoa discovery confirms the hypothesis of our exploration team, led
by Executive Vice President of Exploration, David Broughton, that the western
end of the Copperbelt in Congo does not terminate at Kolwezi," Mr. Friedland
Speaking following the conference inauguration by Santiago Gonzalez,
Chile's Minister of Mines, and a keynote presentation by Jose Pablo Arellano,
President and CEO of Chile's state-owned copper miner, Codelco, Mr. Friedland
expressed confidence that Kamoa will become a world-class mining camp of great
importance to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
"This vast Kamoa discovery, and the discoveries by Ivanhoe Mines at Oyu
Tolgoi in Mongolia, are the type of world-scale mineral systems needed to
supply the copper for the electrification of the global economy, to usher in
the era of the electric car and to reduce our planet's consumption of
hydrocarbons," Mr. Friedland said.
"In a newly carbon-conscious world, everybody is going to become aware
that copper is the green metal," he added. "Given the challenges of the
environmental priorities of America's Obama administration, and of the
aspirations and urbanization that emerging economies throughout Africa share
with many nations, copper is the metal of our time."
Underscoring the significance of the discovery, Mr. Broughton said, "We
believe Kamoa represents the discovery of a previously unrecognized and richly
endowed district within the Central African Copperbelt - geologically
distinct, yet geographically next door to the well-known Kolwezi deposits. Our
geophysical data indicate that the area on our tenements underlain by the
Kamoa target horizon is on the order of 1,000 square kilometers, which we are
The Kamoa discovery occurs within a regional,
northeast-southwest-trending structural corridor identified by Ivanplats'
pioneering, high-resolution, airborne magnetic survey - which was the first
such survey to be flown in the area. The structural corridor has been traced
for approximately 35 kilometres within Ivanplats' exploration licences.
Detailed geochemical surveys within the corridor discovered subtle
copper-in-soil anomalies associated with five structural domes.
Follow-up reverse-circulation and diamond drilling at the northernmost
dome, Kamoa Centrale, resulted in the discovery in mid-2008 of high grades and
significant widths of stratiform copper mineralization in an area Copperbelt
geologists previously thought to be barren.
Recognizing the potential for a major orebody, and prior to the onset of
the seasonal sub-equatorial rains, Ivanplats launched an aggressive drilling
program, with holes spaced one to five kilometers apart. This program
confirmed and extended the mineralization over an open-ended area of
approximately 74 square kilometers, surrounding Kamoa Centrale and part of the
adjacent dome. The three southernmost structural domes, each with
copper-in-soil anomalies similar to Kamoa Centrale, will not be drilled until
the dry season, beginning in May - presenting another opportunity for further
discoveries and expansion of the Kamoa mineralization.
Following the discovery, Ivanplats upgraded more than 30 kilometres of
roads to permit drill access during the rains and completed an infill drilling
program at 800-metre by 800-metre centres over the southern portion of Kamoa
Centrale. This comprises an area of 11 square kilometers, representing 15% of
the discovery area, and less than 10% of the area of the 35-kilometre-long
structural corridor. The infill program now has confirmed the high grade,
significant width and consistency of the Kamoa mineralization and will form
the basis of an initial independent resource estimation. A total of 63 diamond
and 44 reverse-circulation holes, totalling 27,028 metres, have been drilled
The Kamoa geology and copper mineralization have important similarities
to the laterally extensive stratiform copper deposits found in Poland's
Kupferschiefer (copper shale). In Poland's Lubin district, the fourth-largest
copper mining district in the world, the stratiform copper deposits extend
over an area approximately 25 kilometres by 35 kilometres and have been mined
for more than 40 years, with 2007 annual production totalling more than
530,000 tonnes of copper metal.
In addition to the Kamoa discovery, African Mining Consultants, of Kitwe,
Zambia, which is contracted to conduct Ivanplats' exploration in the
Democratic Republic of Congo, has identified and is exploring more than 70
additional copper targets within Ivanplats' tenements in the Copperbelt.
Mr. Friedland said that Kamoa will advance the Democratic Republic of
Congo's stature as one of the world's most important copper producers. "Kamoa
will become an important pillar of the country's economy and help to build
sustainable livelihoods and sustainable communities through social and
economic programs responsive to local needs - all of which is extremely good
news in the heart of Africa."
Lars-Eric Johansson, Ivanplats' President and CEO, said the company has
been encouraged by the support received from the Ministry of Mines and other
government departments for the company's investment in drilling in the
previously unexplored Kamoa district.
AMEC retained to prepare initial 43-101 resource report for Kamoa
Given the significance of the drill results received to date, Ivanplats
has retained Dr. Harry Parker, P. Geo., Technical Director of the London-based
international consulting firm AMEC E&C Services (AMEC), to prepare the initial
43-101 independent resource estimate for the Kamoa Project.
Ivanplats also is planning an aggressive 2009 diamond drilling program to
further explore and delineate resources within this region.
"We are confident that the initial resource estimate will provide us with
the basis to move forward with an independent economic assessment of the
project," Mr. Broughton said. "The magnitude of the Kamoa discovery also
highlights the prospectivity of Ivanplats' extensive, 100%-owned exploration
tenements covering nearly 14,000 square kilometres within the African
Copperbelt in the Democratic Republic of Congo."
Discussions underway with potential strategic partners
Mr. Friedland said that confidential discussions are underway with a
carefully selected number of the world's leading, private and state-owned
international mining companies that could lead to the formation of a
significant strategic partnership or syndicate for continued exploration and
development of the Kamoa discovery.
"We know from experience in developing the world-class Oyu Tolgoi
copper-gold mining complex in Mongolia that a project of Kamoa's size and
scope would benefit from experienced strategic partners. We appreciate the
encouragement we have received from the democratically elected government of
the Democratic Republic of Congo and we will continue to work with its
ministers to realize the potential of our discovery to the benefit of all
stakeholders, while implementing the very best of international exploration,
development and environmental practices."
Hatch Corporate Finance, of London, is advising Ivanplats on its decision
on the formation of potential strategic partnerships and a major international
investment bank will be engaged to assist with the review.
High copper grades in supergene and hypogene mineralization
Grades and widths discovered at Kamoa are similar to those of the
sediment-hosted stratiform copper deposits of the Ore Shale and Mine Series
that historically have been mined in the Zambian and Congolese Copperbelts.
The Kamoa mineralization broadly is of two types: primary mineralization below
the zone of surficial weathering, and secondary mineralization at shallow
The primary mineralization shares many attributes with other stratiform
copper deposits, including vertical zoning of disseminated copper sulphide
minerals from chalcocite to bornite to chalcopyrite, association with cobalt,
silver, zinc and lead mineralization, and the presence of a pyritic
The secondary mineralization is dominated by chalcocite, and has higher
copper values due to supergene enrichment (upgrading) during the weathering
process. This type of mineralization occurs at depths of less than 200 metres
and is a prime target for delineation drilling of potential open-pit
At Kamoa, the hangingwall pyrite zone is significantly better developed
than in Congolese and Zambian Copperbelt deposits. It typically ranges between
10 and 40 metres in thickness and has great potential to form a sulphur
resource that could be processed to produce sulphuric acid. Sulphuric acid
(H2SO4) is in demand for SX-EW metallurgical processing of typical "oxide"
ores of the Congolese Copperbelt, which are hosted in carbonate rocks and
consume large quantities of sulphuric acid in the SX-EW copper extraction
Ivanhoe Nickel & Platinum's Africa focus
Ivanhoe Nickel & Platinum Ltd., formerly known as African Minerals, is a
private Canadian company held by Ivanhoe Capital Corporation, major U.S.,
Canadian and European banks, pension funds and other financial institutions.
CEO Lars-Eric Johansson has more than 35 years' experience in the mining
industry, and was formerly CFO of Kinross Gold, Falconbridge, Noranda and
Boliden Minerals. Executive Vice President-Exploration David Broughton has a
M.Sc. in Economic Geology and 25 years' experience in exploration and
ore-deposit geology, most recently including 12 years in the Congolese and
Founded in 1993, approximately one year before Ivanhoe Mines, Ivanhoe
Nickel & Platinum has been Ivanhoe Capital's exclusive vehicle for development
of mineral resources on the African continent - establishing a model followed
by Ivanhoe Mines as Ivanhoe Capital's dedicated vehicle for mineral
developments in the Asia Pacific region.
Ivanplats has assembled a portfolio of assets in central and southern
Africa. The company holds 50 exploration permits covering approximately 14,000
square kilometres in the Katanga province of the Democratic Republic of Congo
through its wholly-owned subsidiary, African Minerals (Barbados) Limited sprl
(AMBL). The licences cover ground within and surrounding the regional
Copperbelt that contains numerous world-class, stratiform copper-cobalt
deposits - most significantly those at Kolwezi and Tenke-Fungurume. AMBL has
been exploring these licences since 2003.
In addition, Ivanplats is aggressively developing its world-class
Platreef nickel-platinum-palladium-copper-gold discovery on the Northern Limb
of the Bushveld Igneous Complex in South Africa, where several drill rigs are
delineating a significant, high-grade polymetallic underground discovery.
The technical and scientific information contained in this report
relating to the company's DRC exploration activities was reviewed and approved
by David Broughton, M.Sc., Ivanplats' Executive Vice President Exploration and
a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101.
African Mining Consultants of Kitwe, Zambia, carried out all DRC
exploration activities, including drilling, sampling, and sample preparation
of diamond core, on behalf of Ivanplats, under Mr. Broughton's supervision.
Samples were analysed at Ultra Trace Laboratories, Perth, Australia, with
industry standard QA/QC protocols. The sampling and QA/QC program is monitored
by independent consulting geochemist Richard Carver, B.Sc. (Hons) MAIG, FAAG,
who has been providing ongoing consulting in this field to INPL since the
inception of the project. Mr. Carver has 36 years' industry experience in the
field of exploration geochemistry.
Forward-looking statements and information
Statements in this release that are forward-looking statements, such as
statements concerning the company's planned initial public offering of shares
and planned exploration programs, are subject to various risks and
uncertainties concerning the specific factors disclosed here and elsewhere in
the company's periodic filings with Canadian securities regulators. When used
in this document, the words such as "could", "plan", "estimate", "expect",
"intend," "may", "potential", "should", and similar expressions, are
forward-looking statements. Information provided in this document is
necessarily summarized and may not contain all available material information.
For further information:
For further information: Ivanhoe Group - Investor Relations: Bill
Trenaman, (604) 688-5755; Media: Bob Williamson, (604) 688-5755. Ivanhoe
Nickel and Platinum - President & CEO: Lars-Eric Johansson - +44 20 7823
3888/+44 78 1710 1633, Executive Vice President, Exploration: David Broughton,