Ivanhoe Mines has been granted 22,195 square kilometers of greenfield prospecting rights for exploration in the Moxico and Cuando Cubango Provinces of Angola. The extensive package of prospecting rights covers highly prospective, greenfield copper exploration ground approximately equivalent to half the size of Switzerland (41,285 km2). Ivanhoe’s exploration activities are expected to commence following team mobilization in the new year.
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 23 November 2023.
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.
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 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.
Ivanhoe Mines is a Canadian mining company focused on advancing its three principal projects in Southern Africa; the expansion of the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Complex in the DRC, the construction of the tier-one Platreef palladium-nickel-platinum-rhodium-copper-gold project in South Africa; and the restart of the historic ultra-high-grade Kipushi zinc-copper-germanium-silver mine, also in the DRC.
Ivanhoe Mines also is exploring for new copper discoveries across its circa 2,400 km2 of 80-100% owned exploration licences in the Western Foreland, located adjacent to, or in close proximity to, the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Complex in the DRC.
Source: Green Car Congress