Home » Ivanhoe Mines Discovers High-Grade Copper at Kitoko, DRC

Ivanhoe Mines Discovers High-Grade Copper at Kitoko, DRC

New Copper Discovery Enhances Ivanhoe’s Mining Portfolio

by Oluwatosin Alabi

Ivanhoe Mines has made a landmark discovery of high-grade copper at Kitoko, located in the Western Foreland region near the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Complex in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The Kitoko discovery, which means “beautiful” or “gift” in local languages, is part of Ivanhoe’s recently acquired joint venture licenses. This significant find has confirmed high-grade copper mineralization between 1,000 and 1,140 meters below the surface.

Kitoko features fine-grained copper mineralization in flat-lying siltstone within the lower Grand Conglomerate. It bears geological resemblances to the Kamoa, Kakula, Makoko, and Kiala deposits, with the highest copper grades found at the base.

Located 25 kilometers west of the Kakula Mine and five kilometers south of the Makoko Deposit, Kitoko is part of a package of new joint venture licenses. This acquisition increases Ivanhoe’s land position in the Western Foreland by 10%.

Initially holding a 10% interest in the newly acquired licenses, Ivanhoe Mines has the right to increase its ownership through ongoing exploration activities. The company anticipates further commitments in 2024, aiming for a 60% interest.

Ivanhoe Founder and Executive Co-Chair Robert Friedland highlighted the discovery’s significance. “Kitoko confirms the effectiveness of our exploration model in the Western Foreland. Our team’s expertise, developed over 20 years, continues to identify tier-one copper mineralization in this previously unexplored terrain,” he said.

“This year’s drilling success proves our ability to find major copper deposits in Western Foreland. We control a vast exploration land package with tier-one potential,” Friedland added.

Friedland also noted the strategic advantages of the Lobito Rail Corridor in Angola. This infrastructure is expected to enhance the economics of the DRC’s mining industry, which relies mainly on hydroelectricity. “The Lobito Corridor will lower mining cut-off grades and increase economically recoverable copper in the Western Foreland,” he stated.

The DRC government’s encouragement of exploration efforts is a key factor in Ivanhoe’s success. Friedland expressed pride in leading exploration in the DRC and the company’s commitment to unlocking the full potential of the region’s copper resources.

Since starting exploration in the Western Foreland in July 2017, Ivanhoe Mines has revisited existing data sets and focused on infrastructure development. The company plans to have completed over 166,000 meters of diamond drilling by the end of 2023.

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