Ivanhoe Mines announces that the company plans to soon commence an expansive 2021 exploration program on its 100%-owned Western Foreland exploration licences, which include approximately 2,550 square kilometres in close proximity to the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Ivanhoe’s DRC exploration group is targeting high-grade Kamoa-Kakula-style copper mineralization through a regional exploration and drilling program on the Western Foreland exploration ground, which shares the same geological setting as Kamoa-Kakula. Ivanhoe Mines’ 100%-owned exploration licences cover the ground that Ivanhoe’s geological team considers to be the most prospective in the Western Foreland region.
The initial 2021 exploration program includes 40,000 metres of combined aircore and diamond drilling, airborne and ground-based geophysics, soil sampling and road construction. Field work will commence at the start of the 2021 dry season, which typically begins in April. The initial 2021 budget is US$16 million, which may be expanded based on program results. Much of this year’s exploration will focus on more than 1,700 square kilometres of new, 100%-owned permits that were acquired in 2019 and received environmental certification in 2020.
“Though the COVID-19 pandemic curtailed our field exploration plans in 2020, we were able to accomplish a significant amount of geophysical surveys and sampling work, which are our key early-stage prospecting techniques for identifying high-priority targets in this part of the Central African Copperbelt,” said Mr. Friedland.