PGM and base metals mining company Ivanhoe Mines announced on Monday that it expects to have the new Kipushi NI 43-101 resource estimate issued before the end of January.

The high-grade, underground zinc-copper Kipushi project in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s province of Haut-Katanga is located southeast of the company’s Kamoa discovery, adjacent to the town of Kipushi, and approximately 30 km southwest of the provincial capital of Lubumbashi.

The updated resource estimate will enable Ivanhoe to advance discussions and negotiations with potential third party strategic investors in the Kipushi project.

The company says that any such transaction will however be subject to finalisation of definitive commercial terms and agreements with one or more of those third party strategic investors.

Meanwhile, Ivanhoe Mines executive chairman Robert Friedland also announced that the final tranche of locked-up Class A common shares have been released.

This will be the last of the 12 quarterly tranches of locked-up Class A common shares to be released in connection with the company’s October 2012 initial public offering (IPO).

In addition, as of January 23 all of the company’s previously restricted Class B common shares have been automatically converted to freely tradable Class A common shares.

As a result, there will no longer be any Class B common shares outstanding. Following the January 23 release, 100% of Ivanhoe’s 778 959 807 issued and outstanding Class A common shares will be freely tradable.

“We are grateful for the patience and support that our shareholders have shown us since our IPO, which has allowed us to make significant development progress on our three key projects in Africa as well as implement major fundraising partnerships despite challenging market conditions,” says Friedland.

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