Home » How a New Copper Discovery in Congo Could Change the World

How a New Copper Discovery in Congo Could Change the World

Ivanhoe Mines announces a massive increase in exploration budget and activities for 2024

by Victor Adetimilehin

Copper is one of the most important metals for the modern world, as it is used in everything from electric vehicles to renewable energy. But the demand for copper is outstripping the supply, and the world needs new sources of this vital resource.


That’s why the recent announcement by Ivanhoe Mines, a Canadian mining company, is so exciting. The company has discovered a new high-grade copper deposit in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which could be one of the largest and richest in the world.


Kitoko: A Game-Changer for Copper Exploration


The new discovery, named Kitoko, is located in the Western Foreland, a vast and underexplored region in the DRC that hosts the world-class Kamoa-Kakula copper complex, which is being developed by Ivanhoe Mines and its partners.


Kitoko is remarkable for two reasons. First, it confirms the presence of a huge copper mineralizing system that spans across the Western Foreland, with similar geology and mineralization to the Kamoa and Kakula deposits, which are among the highest-grade and largest copper deposits ever found.


Second, it challenges the previous geological model of how copper is formed in the region, as it shows that copper can occur in different sedimentary layers and conditions than previously thought. This opens up new possibilities for finding more copper deposits in the area, as well as increasing the potential size and grade of the existing ones.


A Quadrupled Budget for 2024


To capitalize on this breakthrough discovery, Ivanhoe Mines has decided to quadruple its group exploration budget for 2024, from $22.5 million to $90 million. The majority of the budget will be allocated to the Western Foreland, where the company plans to accelerate its drilling and exploration activities.


According to a report by Mining Review, the company aims to expand the Kitoko discovery, as well as advance its understanding of the Makoko and Kiala deposits, which were also discovered in the Western Foreland and have recently announced their maiden mineral resource estimates. In addition, the company will continue to evaluate high-priority targets across the region, based on its proprietary database and geologic models.


The company’s founder and executive co-chair, Robert Friedland, said: “Given the ongoing exploration success across the Western Foreland, highlighted by the recently announced high-grade Kitoko copper discovery and the release of the Makoko and Kiala maiden mineral resource estimates, we are really accelerating our exploration drilling into 2024.”


A Bright Future for Congo and the World


The exploration success of Ivanhoe Mines in the Western Foreland is not only good news for the company and its shareholders, but also for the DRC and the world. The DRC is a country with immense natural resources, but also with many challenges, such as poverty, conflict, and corruption. By developing its copper potential, the country can generate more revenue, create more jobs, and improve its infrastructure and social services.


Moreover, the world needs more copper to power its transition to a low-carbon economy, as copper is essential for green technologies such as solar panels, wind turbines, and electric vehicles. By finding and producing more copper, Ivanhoe Mines is contributing to the global fight against climate change and the pursuit of sustainable development.


As Friedland said: “The recent exploration success further reinforces the vital role of the Democratic Republic of the Congo as the future of the world’s copper supply.”


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