Ivanhoe Mines Executive Co-Chair Robert Friedland and President Marna Cloete are pleased to announce the independently verified, maiden Mineral Resource estimates for the high-grade Makoko and Kiala deposits within Ivanhoe’s Western Foreland Exploration Project.
Makoko and Kiala are two distinct discoveries adjacent to the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Complex and continue Ivanhoe’s distinguished track record of making greenfield discoveries in this uniquely endowed geological terrain. The two deposits occur within the 2,407-square-kilometre Western Foreland Exploration Project, which lies adjacent to the 400-square-kilometre Kamoa-Kakula Copper Complex in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Western Foreland licences are 80% to 100%-owned by Ivanhoe Mines.
Ivanhoe Founder and Executive Co-Chairman Robert Friedland commented: “These outstanding results are the culmination of over twenty years of effort, starting with grassroots, frontier exploration to define a previously unknown mineral horizon with the potential to host huge copper deposits with spectacular grades.
“The theory was proven to be correct, as our team of visionary geoscientists discovered Kamoa in 2008, followed by the monumental Kakula discovery in 2016. In little over five years, Kakula went from drill core samples to one of the five largest copper mines in the world, with by far the highest grade, thanks to the hard work of our outstanding project and operations teams.
“Ivanhoe Mines’ geologists are rarely quiet for long, and these Mineral Resource estimates for Makoko and Kiala are just the beginning of demonstrating the immense copper mineral potential of the entire Western Foreland basin. Remarkably, this team is now responsible for the largest copper discovery of the last ten years, the ultra-high-grade giant Kakula discovery, as well as the giant Kamoa discovery and now the fourth largest discovery in Makoko.
“We will be looking into whether Makoko’s near surface mineralized zone is amenable to heap leaching, which if possible, would be both a very low capital intensive, as well as a very low carbon intensive way of producing copper cathode.
“There is much more to come as this story unfolds … we continue to perfect our knowledge of the geological controls of this globally significant copper district … and we are adding to our carefully chosen land position in the region.”
Ivanhoe President Marna Cloete added: “Makoko and Kiala will benefit from significant infrastructure advantages compared to when we developed Kakula, which was built in record time. We are working tirelessly to improve hydropower generation capacity in DRC through the refurbishment of Turbine #5 at the Inga II facility, which is expected to be supplying green hydroelectric power to the grid by the fourth quarter of 2024, as well as ongoing improvements to the grid transmission network.
“The redevelopment of the Lobito Rail Corridor, built with Chinese assistance and now supported by the United States, European Union and G7 nations, passes within a few kilometres of both the Makoko and Kiala deposits. The corridor will dramatically reduce turnaround times, both for inbound construction materials and equipment, as well as for outbound copper products, and will reduce development and operating costs, as well as carbon emissions.
“We look forward to advancing the development of Makoko and Kiala in partnership with our Congolese shareholders, and also to further exploration success from our major drill campaign this year across the Western Foreland land package.”