MAC: Mines and Communities

Robert Friedland Expanding in Burma

Published by MAC on 2005-03-24

Robert Friedland Expanding in Burma

Comment by Eric Snider, March 24 2005

Ivanhoe Mines has issued its annual Financial Report that includes extensive notes on its operations in Burma. It's 87 pages long, much of which has to do with several mines being developed in Mongolia, along with the audited financial statement I've culled the major parts that are concerned with the Monywa copper mine and I'm pasting them below.

The big news here is the spelling out of the plan for the 'gradual' exploitation of the Letpadaung deposit adjacent to the existing S & K mining pits. Ivanhoe and the military government's No 1 Mining Co will finish paying off their long term debt to their Japanese debenture holders this year and the report indicates that the additional cash flow generated from the existing operations will be directed towards the Letpadaung project. A more detailed plan will be issued in the second quarter, perhaps in time for the Ivanhoe AGM which is in May, a month earlier than usual this year.

The section on the risks faced in developing the Letpadaung deposit is particularly interesting and definitely worth a read. All those potential investors that Friedland claims to have lined up for Letpadaung must be a mite nervous about the promises of assured electric power. An article in the Myanmar Times last week revealed that the new 280 MW hydro plant near Pyinmana will only have sufficient water in its reservoir to operate one 70 MW generator for more than half the year during the dry season. All the new plants that are supposed to come on line are years behind schedule.

Oddly enough, there is nothing in this year's report about the small Moditaung gold mine which Ivanhoe has been developing on its own in the hills east of Yamethin south of Mandalay.

Those interested can find the report at Still not available on the company website the last time I checked.

Also of note to Ivanhoe fans is the recent appointment to the Ivanhoe Board of Howard Balloch, a former Canadian ambassador to China and more recently a deputy secretary to the Cabinet in the Privy Council Office in Ottawa. That should help to polish up the image of the company!

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