VANCOUVER — Ivanhoe Mines‘ (TSX: IVN; US-OTC: IVPAF) Executive Chairman Robert Friedland believes a preliminary economic study (PEA) just released on the company’s impressive Kamoa-Kakula copper discovery in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is “already obsolete.” Friedland spoke on a Dec. 15 conference call and, though he said the comment was somewhat “tongue-in-cheek,” added that engineers are struggling to keep up with the Kakula’s growth rate over the past six months of drilling. The company’s goal is now to “double or triple” the size of the proposed operation.
Ivanhoe has outlined two “initial options for the start-up” at Kamoa and nearby Kakula, which lies around 5 km due southeast. The first model involves a 4-million-t/y mine at Kakula that would generate 216,000 lb of copper annually at “mine site” cash costs of US37¢ per lb over a 10-year mine life. Pre-production capital for the stand-alone Kakula operation is estimated at US$1 billion.
“We knew from drilling in 2014 that we had high grade mineralization at Kakula,” commented CEO Lars-Eric Johansson during the conference call. “But we didn’t know until we started our drilling earlier this year that Kamoa-Kakula would become the largest copper discovery ever made on the African continent. And it’s still growing.”
Read the entire story at The Northern Miner.