Multi-listed Ivanhoe Mines has announced that exploration activities have intersected 13.05% copper over 22.3 m, at a 2% copper cut-off grade.
The discovery has been made in a remarkably-thick, flat-lying, ultra-high-grade deposit beginning at a depth of only 190 m below surface.
Drill hole DD1450 includes multiple, one-metre intersections with copper grades higher than 20% copper, including a 40%-copper intercept.
At a cut-off of 5% copper, DD1450’s intersection is 15.92% copper over 16.8 m.
Using a lower cut-off grade of 1% copper, the intersection is 10.29% copper over 29.4 m, beginning at a depth of only 190 m below surface.
The new drill hole, DD1450, is located approximately 18 km north of the Kamoa-Kakula Project’s planned initial mine at the Kakula Deposit and approximately 8 km north of Kamoa’s Kansoko Mine development.
DD1450 is further evidence of the emergence of Kamoa North as a prospective new, shallow mining area on the Kamoa-Kakula mining licence.
Previous drill holes in the area had delineated zones of shallow, flat-lying, thick, high-grade copper, but DD1450 is the thickest, highest-grade copper intersection since drilling commenced on the Kamoa-Kakula Project more than a decade ago.
“DD1450 exceeds anything previously encountered in all of our years of delineating resources on the project,” says Robert Friedland from Ivanhoe Mines.
“The flat-lying, 10% copper intersection in hole DD1450 is almost 30 m, or 100-feet thick – essentially equivalent to a 10-storey building – and the high-grade copper is less than 200 m below surface.
“If we apply a 5% copper cut-off to the intersection, the grade increases to approximately 16% copper and it’s still almost 17 m thick, or approximately 56 feet.
“Hole DD1450 is three times richer on a copper-grade-times-thickness measurement than any previous hole drilled at Kamoa-Kakula. Now our immediate exploration focus is to find more of this near-surface, bonanza-grade ore.”
Close-spaced drilling is underway in the vicinity of DD1450 with the intention of better understanding the controls and the orientation of the ultra-high-grade zone.
Initial indications suggest growth faulting in the proximity of DD1450 may have played a part in enhancing fluid flow during the mineralizing process.
The exceptional grade and thickness of the intersection means that even a zone of limited dimensions could prove extremely significant if targeted early from a future Kamoa North decline.
The tier-one Kamoa-Kakula Project is approximately 25 km west of the mining centre of Kolwezi in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The project is a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines, Zijin Mining and the DRC government.
An independent Mineral Resource estimate published in February 2018 established Kamoa-Kakula as the world’s fourth-largest copper discovery. Kamoa-Kakula’s copper grades are the highest, by a wide margin, of the world’s top 10 copper deposits.