Ivanhoe Mines Executive Co-Chair Robert Friedland and President Marna Cloete are pleased to announce that the company has been granted 22,195 square kilometres of greenfield prospecting rights for exploration in the Moxico and Cuando Cubango Provinces of Angola. A mining investment contract (MIC), officially granting the prospecting rights, was signed with the Angolan National Agency for Mineral Resources during the 2023 Angolan Mining Conference held in Luanda on November 23, 2023. The extensive package of prospecting rights covers highly prospective, greenfield copper exploration ground. Ivanhoe’s exploration activities are expected to commence following team mobilization in the new year.
Also at the Angolan Mining Conference, the Angolan Secretary of State for Mineral Resources, Jânio Victor, on behalf of the Instituto Geologico de Angola (Geological Institute of Angola) and the United States Ambassador for Angola, Tulinabo Salama Mushingi, on behalf of the United States Geological Survey (USGS), signed a memorandum of understanding to work together mapping the country’s critical minerals, such as copper, lithium, cobalt and manganese.
Ivanhoe Founder and Executive Co-Chairman Robert Friedland commented:
“Ivanhoe Mines has an exceptional track record of discovering tier-one deposits in new frontiers… and we are now commencing exploration activities in the underexplored regions of Angola that we believe could host an extension of the Central African Copperbelt. We are incredibly privileged to own 100% of a massive exploration land package with outstanding geological potential. We will be deploying our in-depth, proprietary geological insights gained from Ivanhoe’s exploration team in the Western Foreland and at Kamoa-Kakula.
“We thank the government of Angola for welcoming Ivanhoe Mines and entrusting us to explore their vast mineral endowment. Our goal is to make Angola a globally significant producer of strategic minerals that our planet so desperately needs, for many generations to come.”
Provincial map of Angola showing major rivers and the Lobito Railway Corridor. The newly granted prospecting rights are located in both the Moxico and Cuando-Cubango provinces, a previously unexplored, albeit highly prospective area of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Ivanhoe Mines joins other major mining companies exploring the vast mineral endowment of Angola
The prospecting rights have limited prior exploration conducted to date. The greenfield area is covered by Kalahari sand and Karoo volcanics across much of the permitted area, similar to the Kamoa-Kakula licenses, making conventional exploration techniques less effective. Ivanhoe’s exploration team will be deploying their exploration experience and expertise developed from its discoveries of Kamoa-Kakula and the Western Foreland in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Anglo American and Rio Tinto also have greenfield exploration activities in the region.
Ivanhoe’s exploration team will conduct a reconnaissance visit in Q1 2024 across the licences to scout out access, logistics and potential locations for a central camp. In Q2 2024, as the rainy season ends, the team will commence airborne magnetics, gravity and electro-magnetics geophysical surveys, as well as undertake a baseline soil geochemistry survey. The geochemistry survey will be conducted over a specific area, testing soil geochemistry responses through the cover sequences. Later in the year, aircore and stratigraphic diamond drilling will be conducted to verify preliminary geological interpretations. Ivanhoe has committed to an initial exploration budget for the region of $10 million.
The prospecting rights are granted for an initial period of five years and may be extended for a maximum of seven years. At the end of the initial period of five years, 50% of the prospecting rights are required to be relinquished.