Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN; US-OTC: IVPAF) has discovered a third major copper deposit called Makoko in the Democratic Republic of Congo on its 100%-owned Western Foreland copper property, west of its Kamoa-Kakula mining license.
Ivanhoe expects to release a maiden resource estimate for Makoko by the end of 2018’s third quarter.
The company began drilling Western Foreland in 2017’s third quarter. It says of the 50 holes it drilled into the property, the vast majority went into the Makoko discovery area. The 6.75 sq. km discovery remains open in all directions, while the company continues drilling other targets on Western Foreland for high-grade copper.
Highlights from Makoko at a 2% copper cut-off include 3.94 metres grading 5.46% copper from 306 metres downhole and 3.21 metres at 6.78% copper from 441 metres downhole. At a 1% cut-off, those values become 3.94 metres grading 5.46% copper and 3.95 metres at 5.81% copper.
Before drilling the property in 2017, Ivanhoe completed airborne and ground-based geophysical surveys that helped it identify drill targets. Makoko was the first target it drill tested.
The company calls Makoko a flat lying and near-surface stratiform deposit, similar to Kamoa and Kakula. Ivanhoe has mostly intersected the zone between 400 and 800 metres below surface.
In late September, CITIC Metal completed its $723 million strategic equity investment in Ivanhoe. It is now Ivanhoe’s largest shareholder with 19.5% of the company’s shares.
Existing Ivanhoe shareholder Zijin Mining (HKG: 2899) exercised its anti-dilution rights to maintain its 9.7% stake in the company. It raised an additional $78 million for Ivanhoe as a result. Ivanhoe now has $855 million in cash.
Shares of Ivanhoe are currently trading at $2.90 with a 52-week range of $2 to $5.01. The company has a $2.93 billion market capitalization.