Additional, exceptionally high-grade silver, zinc and copper drill intercepts have been reported in the third batch of assay results from Canadian-listed Ivanhoe Mines’ Kipushi copper, zinc, germanium, lead and precious metals mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). These findings were made public at the end of November 2014, subsequent to the mine completing 62 drill holes totalling approximately 12 000 metres of its planned 20 000 metre underground diamond drilling programme.
The new results include those from the first hole drilled through the historical Big Zinc zone, which uncovered high grades of base and precious metals mineralisation.
“Although Kipushi was one of Africa's richest copper and zinc mines,” commented Robert Friedland, Executive Chairman of Ivanhoe Mines, “the records from its first 68 years as a producing mine did not mention the actual production of precious metals. Now, our discovery of high-grade copper-zinc-silver mineralisation with significant gold and germanium values within the Big Zinc zone confirms our hypothesis that copper zones, which also are rich in precious metals, exist within the deep, unmined portions of the Kipushi Mine. These zones now present new and compelling targets for our ongoing exploration.”
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Potential to expand
New intersections show potential to expand the southern limit of the historical Big Zinc resource. The new assay results include intersections from the Nord Riche (North Rich) and Série Récurrente (Recurring Series) zones. A compilation of Ivanhoe's drill results to date indicates that the Série Récurrente zone forms a westerly-plunging shoot of high-grade copper-rich massive sulphide that is open up-plunge, and requires more drilling to define its down-plunge extent.
“These latest assay results demonstrate the world-class grades and untapped potential of the Kipushi deposit," Friedland added. "Our enduring exploration drilling will continue to test for extensions to the Big Zinc and the newly discovered high-grade precious metals mineralisation.”
All investment opportunities for this mining project, and many others, are available for viewing on Africa Mining IQ. Africa Mining IQ organises projects in terms grassroots, pre-feasibility, feasibility, bankable, active and operational phases. Mining projects in the DRC include projects for 48 copper, 15 gold, 13 industrial, 7 diamond, 2 zinc and 1 nickel.
Deep drilling planned
Two diamond-drill rigs continue to complete confirmatory drilling of the Big Zinc zone and deep drilling is planned to test for depth extensions to the Big Zinc zone, including the recently discovered precious metals-rich high-grade copper-zinc zone.
"We are delighted by our discovery of a significant zone of high-grade copper, germanium and precious metals within the Big Zinc. We will continue drilling to delineate and explore this remarkable mineral discovery,” said Lars-Eric Johansson, Ivanhoe Mine’s Chief Executive Officer.
"At current spot prices the germanium and silver grades have the potential to significantly add to the overall metal value at Kipushi," Johansson added. "The Big Zinc is sulphur rich, which also represents a potentially significant value addition given the scarcity of primary sulphur supply in the Copperbelt region, and the demand for acid in conventional in-country oxide recovery circuits.”
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