Ivanhoe and Zijin install a stand-alone executive team to take
Kamoa-Kakula to commercial production
Louis Watum, Ivanhoe’s DRC country manager, appointed
President of the Board of Directors of Kamoa Copper SA
and expands his role
Senior Zijin Chief Operating Officer and three Congolese
nationals strengthen Kamoa-Kakula’s senior management team
to help ensure a successful start-up of commercial production
at the Kakula Copper Mine
Mining veteran Warwick Morley-Jepson appointed as Ivanhoe’s
new Chief Operating Officer
Zijin to increase its shareholding in Ivanhoe Mines to 13.88%
in a private share purchase and sale transaction
with CITIC Metal Africa and Robert Friedland
KOLWEZI, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO – Robert Friedland and Yufeng “Miles” Sun, Co-Chairmen of Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN; OTCQX: IVPAF), announced today that Mark Farren, formerly Ivanhoe’s Executive Vice President, Operations, has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Joint Venture.
In two concurrent moves to further enhance Ivanhoe’s development and operating capabilities, Louis Watum, Ivanhoe’s DRC country manager, has been appointed President of the Board of Directors of Kamoa Copper SA, the DRC operating company of the joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines, Zijin Mining Group, Crystal River and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo that is developing the Kamoa-Kakula Project. Mr. Watum’s expanded role includes assisting with infrastructure development.
South African mining veteran Warwick Morley-Jepson has been appointed as Ivanhoe’s new Chief Operating Officer, assuming the duties formerly held by Mr. Farren.
“Louis, Mark and Warwick all have extensive experience in the development, construction and operation of underground mines in the region, and we have the utmost confidence in their abilities to assemble and lead the joint-venture team that will construct and operate the stage-one, six million-tonne-per-annum Kakula Copper Mine, while also advancing development efforts at our Kipushi and Platreef projects and fast-tracking exploration drilling on our 100%-owned Western Foreland licences,” said Mr. Friedland.
Joining Mr. Farren on Kamoa-Kakula’s new executive management team will be Dr. Yong Chen of Zijin Mining, as Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Chen has more than 25 years’ management experience in mining operations, including his most recent role as Director and General Manager of Xinjiang Ashele Copper Ltd., a large-scale underground mining and processing complex majority owned by Zijin Mining.
“The executive management team will work closely with Mr. Watum and senior Congolese management, our government partners and our host communities to help ensure that the Kakula Mine is built on time and budget, and to the best international standards,” added Mr. Friedland.
“The structure of the team reflects the strong degree of cooperation between the joint-venture parties, and we are confident that the individual expertise and leadership qualities of each member of this executive team will help ensure a successful start-up of operations at Kakula.”
“This is an important stage of growth for Ivanhoe Mines, and I am honoured to lead the development of the tier-one Kamoa-Kakula Project at such an exciting time,” said Mr. Farren. “We are uniquely positioned to build Kakula into one of the world’s greatest copper mines, and I am excited to be part of the team that moves this project forward to production.”
The Kamoa-Kakula Copper senior management team also includes Congolese nationals Ben Munanga – Head of Energy; Teddy Kabongo – Head of Tax; and Dr. Guy Muswil – Head of Sustainability. As well, Rochelle De Villiers of Ivanhoe Mines and David Li of Zijin Mining have been appointed as Kamoa-Kakula’s Co-Chief Financial Officers.
The Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project is a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines (39.6%), Zijin Mining Group (39.6%), Crystal River Global Limited (0.8%) and the DRC government (20%). Ivanhoe Mines and Zijin Mining are co-funding development of the project. Initial copper concentrate production from the Kakula Mine, the first of at least three mines planned at Kamoa-Kakula, currently is scheduled for the third quarter of 2021.
Warwick Morley-Jepson appointed as Ivanhoe’s new
Chief Operating Officer
The company has appointed Warwick Morley-Jepson as its new Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Morley-Jepson is a seasoned mining professional who will assume the duties previously performed by Mr. Farren. He will be responsible for overseeing the technical and development initiatives that Ivanhoe currently is pursuing at the Kipushi and Platreef projects. He also will be a key member of the Ivanhoe team working with Zijin Mining to oversee the development of the Kamoa-Kakula Project.
Zijin to increase its shareholding in Ivanhoe Mines to 13.88% in a private share purchase and sale transaction with CITIC Metal Africa and Robert Friedland
In a related move that follows the implementation of Kamoa-Kakula’s new executive management team and which reflects the efforts and importance of Zijin Mining in the ongoing development of Kamoa-Kakula as well as the spirit of genuine strategic cooperation among Ivanhoe Mines’ largest shareholders, CITIC Metal Africa and Robert Friedland have agreed to sell 35,752,011 shares (3.0%) and 12,900,271 shares (1.08%) of their shareholdings, respectively, to Zijin, in a private share purchase and sale transaction.
After the closing of the transaction, CITIC Metal Africa will own approximately 26.4% of Ivanhoe’s issued and outstanding shares, Robert Friedland will own approximately 13.2%, and Zijin will own 13.88%. The price per share will be fixed on the day prior to completion of the transaction at the prevailing one-day volume weighted average price at that time, but with a floor price of C$3.98 – the price of the recently completed second strategic investment by CITIC Metal in Ivanhoe Mines.
“This rebalancing share purchase and sale agreement once again proves the high level of trust and strategic cooperation between Ivanhoe Mines, CITIC Metal and Zijin Mining,” said Mr. Friedland.
The completion of the transaction remains subject to receipt by Zijin of necessary recordals and registrations with Chinese government regulatory agencies, as have been required and obtained in prior transactions. These are expected to be received within two months, with the completion of the transfers following thereafter and prior to the end of 2019.
At the closing of the transaction, Zijin and Ivanhoe Mines will enter into an investor rights agreement that will, among other things, confirm Zijin’s entitlement to one director, currently its Chairman Chen Jinghe who was elected to the board at Ivanhoe’s AGM held earlier this year. Zijin’s existing standstill agreement also will be amended to increase Zijin’s maximum allowable shareholding in Ivanhoe Mines to 13.88% from 9.9% without Ivanhoe board approval. Zijin Mining also will enter into the same reciprocal lock-up arrangements that currently exist between CITIC Metal and Robert Friedland under which each grants the others reciprocal disposition and tag-along rights in the event of certain proposed sales of shares in the future.
The existing standstill agreements for CITIC Metal and Mr. Friedland are unaffected by the rebalancing transaction, and each continues to be restricted from acquiring more than 29.9% and 19.9% of the Ivanhoe Mines’ common shares, respectively, until January 8, 2023.
About Mark Farren
Mark Farren has 31 years of experience in building and managing mines in some of the world’s major mineral fields. Mr. Farren joined Ivanhoe Mines in June 2014, assuming lead responsibilities for various engineering and development activities as Ivanhoe Mines’ Executive Vice President, Operations. He also previously served a total of 22 years, in progressively senior roles, in the South African operations of Johannesburg-based Anglo American Platinum (Amplats).
Mr. Farren’s career with Amplats culminated with his appointment in 2009 as the group’s Head of Mining. He also has successfully developed other major greenfield operations in Africa.
About Louis Watum
Louis Watum joined Ivanhoe Mines in December 2014 as Managing Director of the company’s operations in the DRC. In March 2015, he was appointed to the additional role of General Manager, Kamoa Copper SA. He holds lead responsibilities for Ivanhoe Mines’ mine development activities now underway at the Kamoa copper discovery and the Kipushi zinc-copper-silver mine, both in the DRC.
Prior to joining Ivanhoe Mines, between 2010 and 2014, he successfully led the development and commissioning of Randgold’s Kibali Project (Randgold’s interest in Kibali subsequently sold to Barrick Gold), which followed his work on the launch of Moto Gold Mines’ Moto Project from 2006 to 2009. He was the Operations Manager at the Yatela Gold Mine in Mali from 2001 to 2005.
About Yong Chen
Dr. Yong Chen has been working in the mining industry for more than 25 years. Prior to his current appointment, Dr. Chen was Board Director and General Manager of Xinjiang Ashele Copper Ltd., a large-scale deep underground mining and processing complex majority owned by Zijin Mining Group. Prior to joining Zijin in 2012, Dr. Chen held increasingly senior managerial roles with China Western Mining Co., Ltd. for 16 years.
Dr. Chen is a Senior Engineer of Geosciences, and holds a Ph.D. in Resources Administration from the China University of Geosciences.
About Warwick Morley-Jepson
Warwick Morley-Jepson is an experienced mining professional with a track record of increasing responsibility over a 37-year career in mining. He has held executive and management positions in underground and open-pit gold and platinum mining operations, and has undertaken several mine development projects at a senior management level, ultimately holding executive positions in several public, senior global mining companies, including Kinross Gold Corporation.
Mr. Morley-Jepson has spent significant time over the last twenty years working in West and North Africa (Mali, Ghana, Mauritania and Côte d’Ivoire), East Africa (Tanzania), Russia, Kazakhstan, Brazil, USA and Chile.
About the Kamoa-Kakula Project
The Kamoa-Kakula Project is approximately 25 kilometres west of the mining centre of Kolwezi in the DRC. It is a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines (39.6%), Zijin Mining Group (39.6%), Crystal River Global Limited (0.8%) and the DRC government (20%). Ivanhoe Mines and Zijin Mining are co-funding development of the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project.
Based on existing mineral resources, Kamoa-Kakula has been independently ranked as the world’s fourth-largest copper deposit and Kamoa-Kakula’s copper grades are the highest, by a wide margin, of the world’s top 10 copper deposits.
Kamoa-Kakula is unique as it combines ultra-high copper grades in thick, shallow and relatively flat-lying deposits – allowing for large-scale, highly-productive, mechanized underground mining operations. Kakula, the first of multiple planned mines expected to be placed into production at Kamoa-Kakula, is projected to have an average grade of 6.8% copper over the initial five years of operations, and 6.4% copper over the first 10 years − grades that are orders of magnitude higher than the majority of the world’s other major copper mines.
Scientific and technical information in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Stephen Torr, P.Geo., Ivanhoe Mines’ Vice President, Project Geology and Evaluation, a Qualified Person under the terms of National Instrument 43-101. Mr. Torr is not independent of Ivanhoe Mines. Mr. Torr has verified the technical data disclosed in this news release.
About Ivanhoe Mines
Ivanhoe Mines is a Canadian mining company focused on advancing its three principal projects in Southern Africa: the development of new mines at the Kamoa-Kakula copper discoveries in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Platreef palladium-platinum-nickel-copper-gold discovery in South Africa; and the extensive redevelopment and upgrading of the historic Kipushi zinc-copper-germanium-silver mine, also in the DRC. Ivanhoe also is exploring for new copper discoveries on its wholly-owned Western Foreland exploration licences in the DRC, near the Kamoa-Kakula Project.
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Cautionary statement on forward-looking information
Certain statements in this news release constitute “forward-looking statements” or “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Such statements and information involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the company, its projects, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or information. Such statements can be identified by the use of words such as “may”, “would”, “could”, “will”, “intend”, “expect”, “believe”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “scheduled”, “forecast”, “predict” and other similar terminology, or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved.
Forward-looking statements in this release include, but are not limited to: statements regarding executive management team will work closely with Mr. Watum and senior Congolese management, our government partners and our host communities to help ensure that the Kakula Mine is built on time and budget, and to the best international standards; (2) statements regarding initial copper concentrate production from the Kakula Mine, the first of at least three mines planned at Kamoa-Kakula, currently is scheduled for the third quarter of 2021; (3) statements that Kakula is the first of multiple planned mines expected to be placed into production at Kamoa-Kakula; and, (3) Kakula is projected to have an average grade of 6.8% copper over the initial five years of operations, and 6.4% copper over the first 10 years.
Forward-looking statements and information involve significant risks and uncertainties, should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results and will not necessarily be accurate indicators of whether or not such results will be achieved. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements or information, including, but not limited to, the factors discussed under “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in the company’s MD&A, as well as the inability to obtain regulatory approvals in a timely manner; the potential for unknown or unexpected events to cause contractual conditions to not be satisfied; unexpected changes in laws, rules or regulations, or their enforcement by applicable authorities; the failure of parties to contracts with the company to perform as agreed; social or labour unrest; changes in commodity prices; and the failure of exploration programs or studies to deliver anticipated results or results that would justify and support continued exploration, studies, development or operations.
Although the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are based upon what management of the company believes are reasonable assumptions, the company cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. These forward- looking statements are made as of the date of this news release and are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Subject to applicable securities laws, the company does not assume any obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this news release.
The company’s actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of the factors set forth in the “Risk Factors” section and elsewhere in the company’s MD&A for the year ended December 31, 2018 and its Annual Information Form.