MAC: Mines and Communities

"Toxic Bob" claims he's grabbed world's 'most important new mine'

Published by MAC on 2019-02-09
Source: Bloomberg

Long-time readers of the MAC website will be well acquainted with the antics and rhetoric of Robert Friedland - dubbed "toxic Bob" for dealing in drugs as a youth, but whose later exploits confirm this earlierdescription.

Now, he's apparently discovered potentially a huge copper deposit in DR Congo, which is second only to Mongolia's Oyu Tolgoi

That's, of course. all dependent on forthcoming drilling results, and internal politics in the war-ravaged African state

[See also: Mining's new challenges in DR Congo ]

Ivanhoe founder and billionaire Robert Friedland developing what will be world's No. 2 copper mine

Friedland says the copper deposit in the Democratic Republic of Congo will reach peak annual production of more than 700,000 tons of copper


6 February  2019

Billionaire investor Robert Friedland said the copper deposit Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. is developing in the Democratic Republic of Congo has the potential to become the world’s No. 2 mine for the metal.

“Kamoa-Kakula will become the world’s second-largest copper mine with peak annual production of more than 700,000 tons of copper metal,” Ivanhoe founder Friedland said Wednesday at a mining conference in Cape Town.

Friedland announced the findings of an independent pre-feasibility study after Ivanhoe invested $800 million in exploration and development. The capacity of the project’s first phase, producing 6 million tons of ore a year, could later be tripled, the company said. Initial mine grades will average 6.8 percent copper, with production expected to start in 2021.

Ivanhoe’s Congo success follows deals with ties to the government

“Grade is king,” said Friedland, who is co-chairman of Ivanhoe. “Nothing even comes close to Kamoa-Kakula.”

The first mine will be able to finance two further mines and a smelter, with investment of US$1.1 billion, he said. “That is mind-boggling and we’ve never seen that before,” said Friedland.

Ivanhoe is developing Kamoa-Kakula with its Chinese joint-venture partner Zijing Mining Group Co. and the Congolese government.

Exciting Prospect

The results from drill hole DD1450 at Kamoa North, released by Ivanhoe last week, were “nothing short of extraordinary,” Paul Gait, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, said in a note. They confirm that “the broader Kamoa-Kakula region is by far the most important and exciting mining project in the world today,” he said.

Ivanhoe shares have climbed 21 per cent in Toronto since it reported the results of the drill hole at Kamoa North on Jan. 30. That gave the company a market value of $2.94 billion (US$2.2 billion).

Over more than two decades, mining investor Friedland and his small team have made some of the biggest mineral discoveries in the world.

In addition to unearthing Africa’s largest copper deposit, other projects include building the Oyu Tolgoi copper-and-gold mine in Mongolia’s Gobi
Desert and discovering the Voisey’s Bay nickel deposit in Canada, which he sold in 1996 for more than US$3 billion. Ivanhoe is also developing a
platinum mine in South Africa.

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