The Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project – a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines, Zjin Mining Group Co., Ltd. and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo — has been independently ranked as the world's largest, undeveloped, high-grade copper discovery by international mining consultant Wood Mackenzie. It is a very large, near-surface, stratiform copper deposit with adjacent prospective exploration areas within the Central African Copperbelt, approximately 25 kilometres west of the town of Kolwezi and about 270 kilometres west of the provincial capital of Lubumbashi.

On September 11, 2017, Ivanhoe Mines announced assay results from another 43 holes as part of the ongoing 2017 drilling campaign at the company’s Tier One Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project, near the mining centre of Kolwezi in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Exploration drilling at Kakula West, located on the western end of the currently defined high-grade, essentially flat-lying Kakula mineralized trend that now extends at least 12 kilometres, has confirmed a significant area of mineralization with characteristics and grades similar to the high-grade Kakula Mineral Resource area located to the east.

An area of two kilometres by one kilometre already has been drilled off at Kakula West on an approximate 300-metre grid pattern, while the drilling in the “saddle” area between Kakula West and Kakula is rapidly being in-filled in preparation for an updated resource estimate for the Kakula Discovery expected by the end of this year.

The Kakula Discovery continues to remain open along a westerly-southeasterly strike. Based on recent drilling results at Kakula, and given the impressive continuity of the high-grade mineralization seen to date, Ivanhoe’s geologists expect that by this October drilling will have expanded the delineated strike extent of the area encompassing Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources by approximately 60%, and that the Kakula and Kakula West deposits will form a continuous mineral resource area.

Kakula West confirmed as significant new copper discovery and a potential new high-grade mining area

Exploration results at Kakula West confirm a significant, high-grade copper discovery. A total of 17,500 metres of drilling in 31 holes has been completed since the May 2017 resource update; assays have been received for 20 holes. Drilling results now have defined a high-grade mineralized zone with a width of at least 1.0 kilometre and a strike extent of more than 2.9 kilometres.

Results from drill holes in the saddle area between Kakula West and the Kakula resource area also have returned extremely significant values, confirming the continuity of the Kakula high-grade zone between the two areas. A complete list of assays for the new drill holes is contained in Table 1.

Significant new drilling intercepts at Kakula West and the saddle area include:

  • DD1160, drilled on northern side of Kakula West, intersected 8.69 metres (true width) of 4.23% copper at a 3.0% copper cut-off, beginning at a downhole depth of 580.00 metres; 11.59 metres (true width) of 3.85% copper at a 2.5% copper cut-off; 21.25 metres (true width) of 3.20% copper at a 2% copper cut-off; and 49.01 metres (true width) of 2.38% copper at a 1% copper cut-off.
  • DD1163, drilled in the saddle area between Kakula and Kakula West, intersected 5.28 metres (true width) of 9.54% copper at a 3.0% copper cut-off, beginning at a downhole depth of 724.40 metres; 5.28 metres (true width) of 9.54% copper at a 2.5% copper cut-off; 6.16 metres (true width) of 8.49% copper at a 2% copper cut-off; and 7.43 metres (true width) of 7.32% copper at a 1% copper cut-off.
  • DD1171, drilled at the currently defined south-western limit of Kakula West, intersected 26.05 metres (true width) of 4.37% copper at a 3.0% copper cut-off, beginning at a downhole depth of 469.50 metres; 26.05 metres (true width) of 4.37% copper at a 2.5% copper cut-off; 28.37 metres (true width) of 4.20% copper at a 2% copper cut-off; and 28.74 metres (true width) of 4.16% copper at a 1% copper cut-off.
  • DD1177, drilled in the centre of Kakula West, intersected 9.62 metres (true width) of 7.57% copper at a 3.0% copper cut-off, beginning at a downhole depth of 565.10 metres; 9.62 metres (true width) of 7.57% copper at a 2.5% copper cut-off; 10.24 metres (true width) of 7.26% copper at a 2% copper cut-off; and 13.00 metres (true width) of 6.00% copper at a 1% copper cut-off.
  • DD1180, drilled on the currently defined western limit of Kakula West, intersected 5.17 metres (true width) of 5.39% copper at a 3.0% copper cut-off, beginning at a downhole depth of 492.40 metres; 11.65 metres (true width) of 3.74% copper at a 2.5% copper cut-off; 15.56 metres (true width) of 3.34% copper at a 2% copper cut-off; and 16.07 metres (true width) of 3.27% copper at a 1% copper cut-off.

Drilling continuing to expand and upgrade the Kakula resource area

Exploration activities since the May 17, 2017, resource update have focused on extending the resources to the southeast and to the northwest, as well as in-fill drilling on the inferred and indicated resources areas ahead of the upcoming pre-feasibility study. A total of 26,700 metres in 44 holes have been completed in the Kakula resource area, of which assays for 23 holes now have been received.

Significant new drilling intercepts at the Kakula resource area include:

  • DD1167, an in-fill hole drilled in the northwest portion of Kakula, intersected 6.16 metres (true width) of 9.20% copper at a 3.0% copper cut-off, beginning at a downhole depth of 578.00 metres; 6.16 metres (true width) of 9.20% copper at a 2.5% copper cut-off; 9.48 metres (true width) of 6.77% copper at a 2% copper cut-off; and 12.27 metres (true width) of 5.54% copper at a 1% copper cut-off.
  • DD1182, drilled on the south-western limit of the Kakula resource area, intersected 3.75 metres (true width) of 6.36% copper at a 3.0% copper cut-off, beginning at a downhole depth of 235.48 metres; 7.47 metres (true width) of 4.56% copper at a 2.5% copper cut-off; 11.20 metres (true width) of 3.76% copper at a 2% copper cut-off; and 15.87 metres (true width) of 3.13% copper at a 1% copper cut-off.

Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project geology showing the Kakula resource area and Kakula West, which is open for significant expansion along trend to the west.

Kamoa-Kakula, among the world’s largest copper deposits by contained copper, also has the highest copper grades by a wide margin.

Drill-hole location plan for the Kakula resource area and Kakula West showing holes completed and in progress, and the Kakula box cut (at right), superimposed on 1% composite grade thickness contours.

Section along the axis of the Kakula Deposit on the section A-A’-A’’-B showing drilling completed to date and composites at a 3% copper cut-off.

Assay composites at 1.0% and 2.0% copper cut-offs.