Consolidation of the underground mining and maintenance activities of Kulthor, Osborne and Starra 276 progressed during Q4'12, with award and finalization of the contract during the period.
In September 2012, Ivanhoe Australia announced an upgrade to the mineral resource at the Kulthor mine with an increase of over 60% in contained metal.
Merlin Molybdenum-Rhenium Project
The phase-one decline development at the Merlin Project was completed on time and on budget in January 2012. in April 2012, the Merlin feasibility study was completed. the study identified a potential mine life of 15 years with ore throughput estimated at 500,000 tonnes per year with annual production of molybdenum of 5,100 tonnes and rhenium of 7,300 kilograms for the first seven years following ramp-up.
An independent technical review of the Merlin project was conducted as part of the strategic and business review that was completed in August 2012. the review reaffirmed the outcomes of the feasibility study and the technical and commercial viability of the project. It also identified potential opportunities to further enhance the technical and commercial aspects of the project. These include metallurgical testwork that has the potential to reduce the capital cost and improve returns. a program of testwork has commenced with the objective to increase the molybdenum-rhenium concentrate grade.
The Mount Elliott scoping study was released in April 2012. the study focused on two elements of the mineralized system: the Mount Elliott open pit (incorporating the original Mount Elliott underground mine) and the SWAN high-grade zone.
Drilling to further define the high-grade portions of the SWAN zone within the Mount Elliott project commenced in early October 2012 and progressed through Q4'12. the additional drilling combined with further geological analysis is planned to update the Mount Elliott mineral resource model. This work is in line with the program of works outlined in the Mount Elliott scoping study completed in April 2012.
In north-western Queensland, Ivanhoe Australia has a 100% interest in 30 granted Mining Leases (MLs) with a total area of 109 square kilometres and two ML applications (11 square kilometres). It has 44 granted Exploration Permits for Minerals (EPMs) with a total area of 5,686 square kilometres, including joint ventures, and three EPM applications (601 square kilometres). the granted EPMs include 12 EPMs in the Ivanhoe / Exco joint venture (423 square kilometres) and two EPMs in the Ivanhoe / Goldminco joint venture (70 square kilometres).
On November 27, 2012, Ivanhoe Australia announced that it had finalized its acquisition of a 51% interest in some of Emmerson Resources Limited's tenements in the Tennant Creek Region in the Northern Territory of Australia. Following this acquisition, Ivanhoe Australia has a 51% interest in 30 granted Exploration Licences (ELs) with a total area of 2,270 square kilometres, three EL applications (129 square kilometres), 121 granted Mineral Claims (23 square kilometres), 224 granted Mineral Leases (61 square kilometres), six Mineral Lease applications (1.5 square kilometres) and two Mineral Authorities (19 square kilometres).
Equity entitlement offer
On November 21, 2012, Ivanhoe Australia announced the launch of a 3-for-10 accelerated, non-renounceable rights issue (Entitlement Offer) to raise up to A$80 million.
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