TSX-listed Ivanhoe Mines has made an important new discovery of high-grade copper on its 100%-owned Western Foreland licences, west of the Kamoa-Kakula mining licence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Makoko discovery is the first of multiple high-potential target areas identified by Ivanhoe’s exploration team to be tested by drilling.
An initial, independent resource estimate for the Makoko copper discovery is expected in the current financial quarter.
In addition, Ivanhoe Mines recently began exploration drilling on other targets identified in the Western Foreland area to test for high grade copper.
“This latest discovery at Makoko validates our exploration model for the geologic features controlling the high-grade copper mineralisation in the region,” says Ivanhoe Mines executive co-chairperson Robert Friedland.
“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.
“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.
“We are in the privileged position of owning 100% of a massive exploration land package with outstanding geological potential next door to our Kamoa and Kakula discoveries – which already has been independently established as the world’s fourth-largest copper project and still is growing,” Friedland adds.
Western Foreland licences at a glance
Exploration on Ivanhoe’s Western Foreland licences began in July 2017, with the construction of all-season access roads, bridge construction and the development of new camp facilities.
In parallel, Ivanhoe undertook airborne and ground-based geophysical surveys and revisited previously acquired geophysical and geochemical data sets. The interpretative work led to the definition of a number of promising exploration targets, of which Makoko was the first to be tested with drilling.
The initial discovery hole at Makoko, DD004, was drilled in September 2017. Follow-up and infill drilling has been ongoing since then.
DD004 (the Makoko discovery hole) intersected 3.94 m (true width) of 5.46% copper, at a 2.% copper cut-off, and 3.94 m (true width) of 5.46% copper at a 1.0% copper cut-off, from a downhole depth of 306 m.
The majority of the drilling to date at Makoko has intersected the copper-rich zone between 400 m and 800 m below surface.
Unperturbed about doing business in DRC
“While some investors are focused on short-term issues such as the DRC Mining Code revisions and the upcoming presidential election, Ivanhoe’s philosophy is to think big and think long term. Our geological team has done an outstanding job of executing our strategy to continue to add shareholder and stakeholder value by keeping the drill bits turning and delivering spectacular exploration results.
“The government of the DRC has encouraged investors to continue their exploration efforts in the country. Ivanhoe’s team is the determined and absolute global leader in exploration technology and success. Our talented and dedicated employees will continue to help the Congolese people unlock the full potential of their country’s mineral endowment,” says Friedland.