Democratic Republic of Congo –TSX-listed Ivanhoe Mines has entered into a conditional joint venture memorandum of agreement (JVMoA) with ASX-listed copper explorer Regal Resources, which will allow Regal the ability to acquire a 98% interest in a package of highly prospective tenements located near the western end of the Central African Copperbelt in the Katanga Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The JVMoA relates to Ivanhoe’s permits PRs 688, 689, 702 and portions of PRs 690 and 701. The Permits, which have significant discovery potential and are largely contiguous, cover a total area of 400 km2 and generally surround Regal’s flagship Kalongwe copper-cobalt project in the DRC’s Katanga province.
Previous exploration by Ivanhoe, including geophysical data interpretation, geological mapping, geochemical sampling and auger, reverse circulation and diamond drilling, has identified five significant targets that include economic intersections of copper mineralisation and which have not as yet been subject to any detailed follow up.
The five high priority targets that warrant immediate follow work, and which include exploration highlights provided by Ivanhoe are:
- Kasangasi Prospect: (~8 DD holes), 5m at 4.9% copper, artisanal pit exploiting copper, mineralisation in structure at Ki.1/2 contact; intersection of regional structure.
- Mukansa Prospect: (artisanal pit), diapir structure with multiple R2 fragments, >10 Mines Series fragments, 6% cobalt in rock chip sample; pitting, sampling, mapping.
- Monwezi West Prospects: (immediately southwest of Kalongwe), previous diamond drilling as part of Kalongwe exploration drilling, good auger and trench results; includes three separate prospects, Monwezi 2, 3, 7; significant geochemical anomalies, multiple fragments of Mines Series.
- Kambundji East Prospect: located NE of Kalongwe property; Mines Series fragments in diapir structure; artisanal pits; high rock chip results 4.8% copper.
- Mamba Prospects: (near Kolwezi) diapir structure, large Nguba and Mines Series fragments, 2-3 km; 17 DD holes for ~4,300 m; mapping; mineralisation intersected; DMBA_007 intersected mineralisation; large area and significant scope for further testing mainly geophysical targets.
Regal will acquire from Ivanhoe a comprehensive technical database containing detailed geophysical and geochemical and drilling information for the permits.
Detailed exploration programme planning, which is now under way, aims at identifying high priority drill targets.
Commenting on the signing of the agreement, Regal MD David Young, who is very excited about having signed this agreement with Ivanhoe, says: “We consider these permits to have excellent potential for significant economic discoveries and they further strengthen the company’s strategic position in the largest and most prolifically mineralised sediment-hosted copper province known on earth. It is also another demonstration of our commitment to develop the minerals potential of the region.
“Regal will also be able to benefit from the very high standard of work already completed by the Ivanhoe exploration team over parts of the JV area. The comprehensive technical database will allow the Company to take a focused approach to exploration, following up high priority targets that have the potential to support future growth of the company, while continuing to rapidly advance the Kalongwe Project towards mine development.
Key terms of the agreement with Ivanhoe are:
- Regal will be required to pay an initial signing fee of US$100 000
- Regal will be required to pay a non-refundable subsequent signing fee of $150 000 no later than the first anniversary of the signing of the agreement,
- Regal can earn 80% by expending $3 million expenditure by no later than three years after the effective date, and Regal can earn 90% by expending $3 million expenditure by no later than two years after the first earn-in.
Regal will also have the option to acquire a further 8% at an agreed price.