May 30, 2014, the South African government's Department of Mineral Resourcesapproved Ivanhoe's application for a long-term mining right covering the development of platinum-group elements, nickel, copper and gold resources at the company's Platreef Projecton the Northern Limb of the Bushveld Igneous Complexin South Africa's Limpopo Province. Ivanhoe now has the right to mine and process all platinum group metals, nickel, copper, gold and certain associated metals and minerals from the Platreef Projectmining area, subject to the company complying with the terms on which the mining right, or licence, was granted. It also is expected that the mining right, when executed by the Mineral Resources Minister, will be for an initial period of up to 30 years and will be renewable for an unlimited number of consecutive periods each of up to 30 years. -- Agreement also was reached on acceptable terms for a broad-based, black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) participation structure for the Platreef Projectthat were progressively refined and optimized to ensure that the resulting partnership would deliver long-term benefits to local communities and entrepreneurs, as well as to Platreef's employees. In terms of Platreef's mining right, the B-BBEE partners will own a combined 26% of the Platreef Project. -- On June 10, 2014, Ivanhoe completed a public offering and concurrent private placement to Ivanhoe's Executive Chairman, Robert Friedland, for gross proceeds of C$169 million( $154 million). In July, Mr. Friedlandsubsequently fully exercised his option to purchase an additional 2.5 million units, generating additional net proceeds to the company of C$3.75 million. -- On July 14, 2014, Ivanhoe announced that the first batch of assay results from the company's underground diamond-drilling program at the Kipushi copper-zinc-germanium-lead and precious-metals mine had confirmed initial visual estimates of high-grade zinc and copper mineralization in both the Big Zinc and copper-rich Serie Recurrente zones. -- Three holes drilled to validate historical models of the down-plunge continuity of Big Zinc mineralization returned zinc grades of 40.9% over 348.5 metres, 44.8% over 339.4 metres and 33.3% over 305.8 metres. -- Internal zones of exceptionally rich mineralization in the first two holes, KPU001 and KPU002, returned zinc grades of 60.4% over 35.1 metres, 56.3% over 18.0 metres and 56.6% over 71 metres. These internal zones also returned germanium grades of 87.2, 120.4 and 111.9 grams per tonne (g/t), respectively. -- An internal zone rich in copper, silver and germanium in the third hole, KPU003, graded 6.1% copper, 44.5% zinc, 144 g/t silver and 66.9 g/t germanium over 31 metres from 197 metres. Historical resource estimates at Kipushi did not include silver and germanium. -- Hole KPU003 also discovered a zone grading 58.6% zinc and 293.8 g/t germanium over 22.3 metres, approximately 180 metres below the historical measured and indicated resources. This exceptional grade intersection may represent an extension to the Big Zinc or the start of a new zinc- and germanium-rich zone, and will be followed up by ongoing drilling. -- In addition, two holes from Ivanhoe's exploratory drilling program targeting the Serie Recurrente (Recurring Series) zone at the north end of the Kipushi Deposit returned very high copper and silver grades. Hole KPU008 intersected 11.4 metres (estimated true width of 11.2 metres) grading 17% copper and 89.6 g/t silver. -- Also in July 2014, Ivanhoe announced the start of construction on the box cut for the initial portal to planned decline ramps that will provide underground access to the proposed Kamoa copper mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo'sKatanga province. A contract for construction of the box cut was awarded to Lubumbashi-based Mining Company Katanga Sprl (MCK). Construction of the box cut is expected take approximately five months, after which development of the first set of twin declines can commence. The declines have been designed to intersect the high-grade copper mineralization in the Kansoko Sud area, approximately 150 metres below surface. Ivanhoe's drilling program in this area has defined a thick, near-surface zone of high-grade copper mineralization, where a recent drill hole intercepted 15.7 metres (true width) of 7.04% copper, at a 1.5% total copper cut-off.
Principal Projects and Review of Activities
-- The Kamoa copper discovery in a previously unknown extension of the Central African Copperbelt in the
Democratic Republic of Congo'ssouthern province of Katanga. -- The Platreef discovery of platinum, palladium, nickel, copper, gold and rhodium on the Northern Limb of the Bushveld Complexin South Africa. -- The historic, high-grade Kipushi zinc, copper and germanium mine, also on the Copperbelt in the D.R. Congo'sKatanga province, now being drilled and upgraded by Ivanhoe. Kipushi was operated and maintained by previous owners between 1924 and 2011, when Ivanhoe acquired its majority interest in the mine.
Ivanhoe is evaluating other opportunities as part of its objective to become a broadly based, international mining company.
Kamoa is world's largest undeveloped, high-grade copper discovery
Kamoa is the world's largest undeveloped, high-grade copper deposit. On
In addition to the Indicated Resources, the updated estimate included Inferred Mineral Resources of 227 million tonnes grading 1.96% copper and containing 9.8 billion pounds of copper, also at a 1.0% copper cut-off grade and a minimum vertical mining thickness of three metres.
At a higher, 2.0% copper cut-off grade, Kamoa's Indicated Resources total an estimated 550 million tonnes grading 3.04% copper and containing 36.9 billion pounds of copper. At the 2.0% cut-off, Kamoa also has 93 million tonnes of Inferred Resources grading 2.64% copper, which contain an estimated 5.4 billion pounds of copper.
Construction underway of first box cut for planned underground mine
A contract for construction of the box cut for the initial portal to planned decline ramps that will provide underground access to the proposed Kamoa mine was awarded to Lubumbashi-based Mining Company Katanga Sprl (MCK), which has extensive local experience in contract mining and earthworks and has worked on other significant Katanga copper mining projects, including Kinsevere, Kipoi and Kolwezi.
Construction of the box cut is expected take approximately five months, after which development of the first set of twin declines can commence. The declines have been designed to intersect the high-grade copper mineralization in the Kansoko Sud area, approximately 150 metres below surface. Ivanhoe's drilling program in this area has defined a thick, near-surface zone of high-grade copper mineralization, where a recent drill hole, for which assays were received in
Underground mining to use mechanized room-and-pillar and drift-and-fill methods
Given the favourable geological characteristics of the Kamoa Deposit as derived from the
Infill drilling of the planned initial mining area from the preliminary economic assessment (PEA) has confirmed the overall grade and thickness of the
Progress on pre-feasibility study, with initial development planned at Kansoko Sud
In line with the phased approach to project development outlined in the 2013 updated Kamoa PEA, the Kamoa pre-feasibility study (PFS) is progressing on the basis of an initial three-million-tonne-per-annum (3 Mtpa) mine and concentrator. Development plans will be refined following completion of the PFS.
Reviews of the resource model, combined with results from recent infill drilling at Kansoko Sud, have confirmed grade continuity, which allows the resource model to be constrained at a higher cut-off grade. The focus in planning the early years of mine production continues to be on the near-surface and high-grade material from Kansoko Sud to maximize margins. The 3 Mtpa mine and concentrator can be split into modules to potentially better match the underground ramp-up and further reduce the required pre-production development capital. This will be examined in more detail as part of the pre-feasibility study to provide flexibility to the development of the
Phase 6 of the metallurgical testwork program is being conducted at the XPS laboratory in
Diamond drilling during the second quarter of 2014 was focused on infill and exploration drilling. Six drill rigs were in operation at the start of the quarter, which was reduced to four rigs by the end of June, including two truck-mounted rigs owned by Ivanhoe. A total of 10,030 metres of diamond drilling was completed, with 37 holes drilled to completion. The drilling included 6,326 metres of in-fill drilling on the Kansoko Sud and Makalu areas, 3,336 metres of exploration drilling on the Kakula and Kansoko Nord areas and 368 metres of metallurgy drilling in the Kansoko Centrale area.
By the end of the second quarter, diamond drilling was focussed entirely on in-fill drilling in the Kansoko Sud early mining area and on exploration drilling in the Kakula area.
In addition to the diamond drilling, four hydrology test holes were drilled in the southern well field. Each hole was 251 metres deep, for a combined total 1,004 metres. Five six-metre-deep holes were drilled in the Kamoa Nord and Kansoko East areas to test the permeability of the soil for potential tailings storage and access roads.
Planned additional drilling in 2014
Planned diamond drilling for the remainder of 2014 will continue to target the initial, high-grade development area in Kansoko Sud and the early-stage exploration drilling in the Kakula area. The hydrology testing has confirmed that there is sufficient water to warrant the commencement of production-well drilling.
Agreement signed to upgrade existing hydroelectric power plants
A combined total of 200 megawatts from the grid would provide sufficient power for Kamoa's 300,000 tonnes per year smelter and the associated future mine expansions.
Platreef Project64%-owned by Ivanhoe Mines South Africa
In the Northern Limb, such mineralization primarily is hosted within the Platreef, a mineralized sequence that is traced more than 30 kilometres along strike.
Since 2007, Ivanhoe has focused its exploration activities on defining and advancing the down-dip extension of its original Platreef discovery, now known as the Flatreef Deposit, which potentially is amenable to highly mechanized, underground mining methods. The Flatreef area lies entirely on the Turfspruit and Macalacaskop properties.
Platreef planning a phased approach to a large, underground, mechanized mine
An independent preliminary economic assessment (PEA) was released in
Highlights of the Platreef PEA
-- A large, mechanized, underground mine is planned to be developed through a phased approach. -- Three run-of-mine production scenarios were examined: 4 million tonnes per year (Mtpa); a base case of 8 Mtpa; and 12 Mtpa. -- An initial 4 Mtpa scenario would establish an operating platform. -- Expansions - to the base-case 8 Mtpa scenario, and also to the 12 Mtpa scenario - could be accelerated as the market dictates. -- Opportunities exist for additional phases of development beyond 12 Mtpa, subject to further study.
The scenarios describe a staged approach, where there would be opportunity to expand the operation depending on demand, smelting and refining capacity and capital availability. As the 4 Mtpa production scenario (Phase 1) is developed and placed into production, there is opportunity to modify and optimize the subsequent phases, allowing for changes to the timing or expansion capacity to suit the conditions at the time.
Phase 1 would include the construction of a concentrator and other associated infrastructure to establish an operating platform to support the start of production at a nominal plant capacity of 4 Mtpa by 2020. Phase 2 would include a ramp-up to a plant capacity of 8 Mtpa by 2024; Phase 3 envisages a further ramp-up to a steady-state plant capacity of 12 Mtpa by 2028.
Key features of the 8 million tonnes/year base-case scenario
-- Annual production target of 785,000 ounces of platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold. (At an expanded operating scenario of 12 million tonnes per year, the annual production target would be 1.1 million ounces of platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold (3PE+Au)). -- Platreef, with the highest concentration of base metals among
Africa'sproducers of platinum-group metals, would rank at the bottom of the cash-cost curve, at an estimated $341per ounce of 3PE+Au, net of by- products. -- Estimated pre-production capital requirement of approximately $1.7 billion, including $381 millionin contingencies. -- $1.6 billionafter-tax net present value, at an 8% discount rate. -- 14.3% after-tax internal rate of return.
The Platreef preliminary economic assessment technical report has been filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on the
Mining Right granted, execution pending
A Mining Right Application (MRA) for the
Ivanhoe recently implemented its proposed B-BBEE structure, which includes communities, employees and entrepreneurs, who together own 26% of the
The company has suspended all physical exploration activities and Shaft #1 site work for the
Development work focused on resources in Flatreef underground discovery
The Flatreef Mineral Resource, with a strike length of 6.5 kilometres, predominantly lies within a flat to gently dipping portion of the Platreef mineralized belt at relatively shallow depths of approximately 700 to 1,100 metres below surface.
The Flatreef Deposit is characterized by its very large vertical thicknesses of high-grade mineralization and a platinum-to-palladium ratio of approximately 1:1, which is significantly higher than other recent PGM discoveries on the Bushveld's Northern Limb. The grade shells used to constrain mineralization in the Flatreef Indicated Mineral Resource area have average true thicknesses of approximately 24 metres at a cut-off grade of 2.0 grams per tonne (g/t) of 2PE+Au (platinum-palladium-gold). The Indicated Mineral Resource grade at equivalent 2.0 gram-per-tonne 3PE cut-off is 4.1 g/t 3PE+Au (platinum-palladium-rhodium-gold), 0.34% nickel and 0.17% copper. Flatreef's Indicated Mineral Resources of 214 million tonnes contain an estimated 28.5 million ounces of platinum, palladium, gold and rhodium, 1.6 billion pounds of nickel and 0.8 billion pounds of copper.
At the same cut-off of 2.0 g/t 3PE+Au, the latest Flatreef estimate includes Inferred Mineral Resources of 415 million tonnes grading 3.5 g/t 3PE+Au, 0.33% nickel and 0.16% copper, containing an estimated additional 47.2 million ounces of platinum, palladium, gold and rhodium, 3.0 billion pounds of nickel and 1.5 billion pounds of copper. Inferred Mineral Resource estimates, under CIM guidelines, do not have demonstrated economic viability and may never achieve the confidence to be Mineral Reserve estimates or to be mined.
Development of Shaft #1
Surface construction work for Shaft #1 was suspended on
Shaft #1, including some initial lateral, underground development work, is expected to be fully funded from dedicated funds remaining in Ivanhoe's treasury from the
Ivanhoe awarded the contract for design and engineering of Shaft #2, the main production shaft, to
Completion of a PFS - currently focused on the Phase 1, 4 Mtpa production case - is targeted for the second half of 2014. Studies will continue on the Phase 2 base-case 8 Mtpa and Phase 3 12 Mtpa production scenarios.
Metallurgical testwork is underway at the Mintek laboratory in
Exploration and development drilling
Platreef's 2014 exploration drilling program was suspended on
A total of 15 holes, totalling 16,534 metres, were completed during the quarter up to
Kipushi Project68%-owned by Ivanhoe Mines
The Kipushi copper-zinc-germanium-lead mine, in southern Katanga province, is adjacent to the town of Kipushi and approximately 30 kilometres southwest of the provincial capital of Lubumbashi. It also is on the Central African Copperbelt, southeast of the company's
Project development and infrastructure
Work began in early
The mine, which had been placed on care and maintenance in 1993, flooded in early 2011 due to a lack of pump maintenance over an extended period. Water reached 851 metres below surface at its peak. A major milestone was reached in
Recent improvements include the fabrication of the main ventilation fan for Shaft #4, the replacement of the headframe's top sheave wheel on Shaft #2, the removal of the counterweight and man cage on Shaft #5 for upgrading and the construction of a water dam on the cascades at the 1,112-metre-level to establish a horizontal pump station to Shaft #5.
Two rigs have been conducting underground drilling at the mine, de-watering is ongoing and access to the important 1,272-metre-level hanging-wall drift was achieved in
Exploration and development drilling
Ivanhoe's 2014 underground drilling program is scheduled to complete approximately 100 holes, totalling more than 20,000 metres. The program is designed to confirm and update Kipushi's estimated historical resources and to further expand the resources along strike and at depth. More than 4,000 metres of drilling was completed during the first half of 2014.
A total of 2,745 metres, including 15 drill holes, were completed in Q2. Exploration drilling focused on the Serie Recurrente (Recurring Series) zone, testing areas to the east and below the historical measured and indicated resources. Three drilling fans were completed from the -1,251-metre-level. The fans were completed with a total of 13 drill holes and 1,965 metres. In addition to the Serie Recurrente drilling, two additional holes were drilled from the 1,220-metre-level to test the fault zone north of the Big Zinc and to provide an understanding of the complete stratigraphic succession.
Assay results for the first eight holes were received at the end of the quarter and released on
-- Three holes drilled to validate historical models of the down-plunge continuity of Big Zinc mineralization returned zinc grades of 40.9% over 348.5 metres, 44.8% over 339.4 metres and 33.3% over 305.8 metres. The down-plunge geometry of the holes does not allow for estimation of true widths. -- Internal zones of exceptionally rich mineralization in the first two holes, KPU001 and KPU002, returned zinc grades of 60.4% over 35.1 metres, 56.3% over 18.0 metres, and 56.6% over 71 metres. These internal zones also returned germanium grades of 87.2, 120.4 and 111.9 grams per tonne (g/t), respectively. -- An internal zone rich in copper, silver and germanium in the third hole, KPU003, graded 6.1% copper, 44.5% zinc, 144 g/t silver and 66.9 g/t germanium over 31 metres from 197 metres. Historical resource estimates at Kipushi did not include silver and germanium. -- KPU003 also discovered a zone grading 58.6% zinc and 293.8 g/t germanium over 22.3 metres, approximately 180 metres below the historical Measured and Indicated Resources. This exceptional grade intersection may represent an extension to the Big Zinc or the start of a new zinc- and germanium-rich zone, and will be followed up by ongoing drilling. -- In addition, two holes from Ivanhoe's exploratory drilling program targeting the Serie Recurrente zone at the north end of the Kipushi Deposit returned very high copper and silver grades. Hole KPU008 intersected 11.4 metres (estimated true width of 11.2 metres) grading 17% copper and 89.6 g/t silver.
Kipushi's 68 years of production history
Following its start-up in 1924 as the
In addition to the recorded production of copper, zinc, lead and germanium, Gecamines mine-level plans for Kipushi also report the presence of precious metals, specifically silver and rhenium. There is no formal record of precious metal production on the property.
SELECTED QUARTERLY FINANCIAL INFORMATION
The following table summarizes selected financial information for the prior eight quarters. Other than its share of revenue from the
3 Months ended ---------------------------------------------------- June 30, March 31, December 31, September 30, 2014 2014 2013 2013 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- $'000 $'000 $'000 $'000 Exploration and project expenditure 39,580 37,102 60,738 39,793 General administrative expenditure 4,913 9,318 11,567 6,259 Shared-based payments 85,428 2,561 2,029 1,898 Impairment of mineral property, goodwill and other - - 334,338 - Legal settlement - - - 10,000 Finance costs 1,124 358 559 543 Deferred tax recovery - - (75,701) - Total comprehensive loss attributable to: Owners of the Company 129,474 42,750 240,262 51,787 Non-controlling interest 6,280 6,057 92,606 6,248 Loss per share (basic and diluted) 0.21 0.07 0.41 0.10 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3 Months ended ---------------------------------------------------- June 30, March 31, December 31, September 30, 2013 2013 2012 2012 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- $'000 $'000 $'000 $'000 Exploration and project expenditure 41,281 32,131 31,314 29,368 General administrative expenditure 6,270 6,980 8,441 4,140 Shared-based payments 2,143 2,238 1,446 1,446 Finance costs 319 223 2,069 8,653 Total comprehensive loss attributable to: Owners of the Company 43,804 37,372 37,949 38,368 Non-controlling interest 7,198 5,018 4,771 3,315 Loss per share (basic and diluted) 0.08 0.07 0.07 0.09 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
DISCUSSION OF RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Review of the Three Months ended
The company's total comprehensive loss for Q2 2014 of
The company implemented its B-BBEE structure on
When accounting for the B-BBEE transaction, the company considered the substance of the transaction as opposed to merely applying legal form as required by International Financial Reporting Standard 1. The substantial risks and rewards associated with the 26% ownership of the Platreef shares have not been transferred to the B-BBEE SPV on the effective date, irrespective of the fact that transfer of the legal title of the shareholding has occurred. The transfer was to facilitate legal compliance with Section 22 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (
The acquisition of the rights to the Platreef shares only becomes effective, in substance, once the funding arrangements have been settled, the pledge and cession agreement lapses and the B-BBEE shareholders obtain the full rights associated with the ownership of Platreef shares.
Of the share-based payment expense recognized for the three months ending
The company's warrants issued in
Exploration and project expenditures for the three months ending
Financial position as at
The company's total assets increased to
The company generated cash inflow from financing activities during the six months ending
The company utilized
The company's total liabilities increased from
LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES
The company closed a non-brokered private placement for
The company had
This release should be read in conjunction with
Disclosures of a scientific or technical nature in this news release have been reviewed and approved by
Cautionary statement on forward-looking information
Certain statements in this release constitute "forward-looking statements" or "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities laws, including without limitation, the timing and results of: (i) a pre-feasibility study (PFS) at the
As well, the results of the preliminary economic assessments of the
This release also contains references to estimates of Mineral Resources. The estimation of Mineral Resources is inherently uncertain and involves subjective judgments about many relevant factors. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. The accuracy of any such estimates is a function of the quantity and quality of available data, and of the assumptions made and judgments used in engineering and geological interpretation (including estimated future production from the company's projects, the anticipated tonnages and grades that will be mined and the estimated level of recovery that will be realized), which may prove to be unreliable and depend, to a certain extent, upon the analysis of drilling results and statistical inferences that may ultimately prove to be inaccurate. Mineral Resource estimates may have to be re-estimated based on: (i) fluctuations in copper, nickel, platinum group elements (PGE), gold or other mineral prices; (ii) results of drilling; (iii) metallurgical testing and other studies; (iv) proposed mining operations, including dilution; (v) the evaluation of mine plans subsequent to the date of any estimates; and (vi) the possible failure to receive required permits, approvals and licences.
Forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties, should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indicators of whether or not such results will be achieved. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the factors discussed below and under the "Risk Factors" section in the company's most recent Management's Discussion and Analysis report and Annual Information Form, as well as unexpected changes in laws, rules or regulations, or their enforcement by applicable authorities; the failure of parties to contracts with the company to perform as agreed; social or labour unrest; changes in commodity prices; and the failure of exploration programs or studies to deliver anticipated results or results that would justify and support continued exploration, studies, development or operations.
Although the forward-looking statements contained in this release are based upon what management of the company believes are reasonable assumptions, the company cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this release and are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Subject to applicable securities laws, the company does not assume any obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this release.
The company's actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of the factors set forth in the "Risk Factors" section and elsewhere in the company's most recent Management's Discussion and Analysis report and Annual Information Form, available at www.sedar.com.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Investors
Bill Trenaman+1.604.331.9834 Media North America: Bob Williamson+1.604.512.4856 Media South Africa: Jeremy Michaels+27.11.088.4300 www.ivanhoemines.com Source: Ivanhoe Mines Ltd.