The Kipushi Project, in the DRC’s province of Haut-Katanga and southeast of the company’s Kamoa discovery, is adjacent to the town of Kipushi and approximately 30 kilometres southwest of the provincial capital of Lubumbashi. Ivanhoe Mines acquired its 68% interest in the Kipushi Project in November 2011; the balance of 32% is held by the DRC’s state-owned mining company, Gécamines.

The Kipushi Project is based on the high-grade, underground zinc-copper mine in the Central African Copperbelt, which mined approximately 60 million tonnes grading 11% zinc and 7% copper between 1924 and 1993. In addition to producing copper and zinc, the mine produced 12,673 tonnes of lead and approximately 278 tonnes of germanium between 1956 and 1978. The mine had been managed on a care and maintenance basis since 1993.

November 23, 2016: Ivanhoe Mines reports excellent progress has been made in upgrading and modernizing the Kipushi Mine’s shafts, pumping stations and underground infrastructure as part of the plan to prepare the mine for the restart of commercial product

The current mine redevelopment plan, as outlined in the May 2016 independent, preliminary economic assessment (PEA), includes a two-year construction period with a relatively quick ramp-up to a projected steady-state production of 530,000 tonnes of zinc concentrate per annum. A pre-feasibility study (PFS) is underway to refine the findings of the PEA and to optimize the mine’s redevelopment schedule, life-of-mine operating costs and initial capital costs required to bring the mine back into production. Ivanhoe expects to complete the PFS in the second quarter of 2017.

Rebirth of a Copperbelt legend

The Kipushi Project is operated by Kipushi Corporation (KICO), a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines (68%) and Gécamines (32%), the state-owned mining company. The PEA and PFS focus on the mining of Kipushi’s Big Zinc Deposit, which has an estimated 10.2 million tonnes of Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources grading 34.9% zinc. This grade is more than twice as high as the Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources of the world’s next-highest-grade zinc project, according to Wood Mackenzie, a leading, international industry research and consulting group.

KICO has upgraded the operating shafts, winders and underground infrastructure at the Cascade section of the mine, which are expected to serve as alternate personnel and material shafts – as well as a second egress route from the mine. A new high-volume ventilation fan also has been installed on surface at Shaft 4 to provide fresh air to the underground workings.

The main production shaft for the Kipushi Mine, Shaft 5, is in the process of being upgraded and re-commissioned. The main personnel and material winder has been upgraded and modernized to meet western industry standards and safety criteria, and new cages will be installed in 2017. The rock-hoisting winder, which will have a potential annual hoisting capacity of 1.8 million tonnes, is being upgraded and is expected to be fully operational in late 2017.

The critical path for the redevelopment of the mine runs through the upgrading of the Shaft 5 rock-hoisting winder, as well as the re-commissioning of the main pumping station at Shaft 5, the underground crusher at the bottom of Shaft 5, the Shaft 5 rock load-out facilities and the restoration of the main haulage way on the 1,150-metre level between the Big Zinc access decline and Shaft 5.

Shaft 5, which is planned to be the mine’s main production shaft, is eight metres in diameter, 1,240 metres deep and approximately 1.5 kilometres from the planned main mining area. The rock hoist and load-out system will be upgraded to western industry standards during 2017 to fully restore the shaft’s hoisting capacity. Shaft 5 provides the primary access to the lower levels of the mine, including the Big Zinc Deposit, through the 1,150-metre haulage level and underground ramp decline.

The planned primary mining method for the Big Zinc Deposit in the PEA and PFS is sublevel open stoping, with cemented backfill. The crown pillars are expected to be mined once adjacent stopes are backfilled using a pillar-retreat mining method. The Big Zinc Deposit is expected to be accessed via the existing decline and without any significant new development. The main levels are planned to be at 60-metre vertical intervals, with sublevels at 30-metre intervals.

January 27, 2016: Ivanhoe Mines reports Independent Mineral Resource estimate for Kipushi

Highlights of this initial estimate, prepared by the MSA Group, of Johannesburg, South Africa, in compliance with CIM definition standards, are:

  • Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources in the Big Zinc Zone of 10.2 million tonnes at grades of 34.89% zinc, 0.65% copper, 19 grams per tonne (g/t) silver and 51 g/t germanium, at a 7% zinc cut-off, containing an estimated 7.8 billion pounds of zinc.
  • The zinc grade of Kipushi’s Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources in the Big Zinc Zone is more than twice as high as the world’s next-highest-grade zinc project, independently ranked by Wood Mackenzie, an international industry research and consulting group, based on contained zinc (Figure 1).
  • Zinc-rich Inferred Mineral Resources total an additional 1.9 million tonnes at grades of 28.24% zinc, 1.18% copper, 10 g/t silver and 53 g/t germanium. The Inferred Mineral Resources are contained partially in the Big Zinc Zone and partially in the Southern Zinc Zone.
  • Kipushi’s copper-rich Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources contained in the adjacent Fault Zone, Fault Zone Splay and Série Récurrente Zone total an additional 1.63 million tonnes at grades of 4.01% copper, 2.87% zinc and 22 g/t silver, at a 1.5% copper cut-off, containing 144 million pounds of copper.Copper-rich Inferred Mineral Resources in these zones total an additional 1.64 million tonnes at grades of 3.30% copper, 6.97% zinc and 19 g/t silver.
  • Ivanhoe’s exploration program has demonstrated that zinc and copper mineralization of the Kipushi system remains open laterally and at depth. Results recently received from hole KPU081, drilled on section line 6S, confirm high-grade copper-zinc mineralization at depth. KPU081 intersected 60.5 metres (21.7 metres true thickness) grading 2.6% copper, 36.2% zinc, 19 g/t silver and 204 g/t germanium to a depth of 1,763 metres. Included in this interval was an intersection from 580.9 metres to 591.3 metres (3.8 metres true thickness) grading 56.3% zinc, 0.5% copper, 12 g/t silver and 397 g/t germanium.

Click here to view Kipushi Project - Mineral Resource Estimate NI 43-101 Technical Report, January 2016

Table 1: Kipushi Zinc-Rich Mineral Resource at 7% Zn Cut-Off Grade, 23 January 2016

Zone

Category

Tonnes

Zn

Cu

Pb

Ag

Co

Ge

(Millions)

%

%

%

g/t

ppm

g/t

Big Zinc

Measured

3.59

38.39

0.67

0.36

18

17

54

Indicated

6.60

32.99

0.63

1.29

20

14

50

Inferred

0.98

36.96

0.79

0.14

7

16

62

Southern Zinc Zone

Indicated

0.00

-

-

-

-

-

-

Inferred

0.89

18.70

1.61

1.70

13

15

43

Total

Measured

3.59

38.39

0.67

0.36

18

17

54

Indicated

6.60

32.99

0.63

1.29

20

14

50

Measured & Indicated

10.18

34.89

0.65

0.96

19

15

51

Inferred

1.87

28.24

1.18

0.88

10

15

53

Contained Metal Quantities

Zone

Category

Tonnes

Zn Pounds

Cu Pounds

Pb Pounds

Ag Ounces

Co Pounds

Ge Ounces

(Millions)

(Millions)

(Millions)

(Millions)

(Millions)

(Millions)

(Millions)

Big Zinc

Measured

3.59

3035.8

53.1

28.7

2.08

0.13

6.18

Indicated

6.60

4797.4

91.9

187.7

4.15

0.20

10.54

Inferred

0.98

797.2

17.1

3.0

0.23

0.03

1.96

Southern Zinc Zone

Indicated

0.00

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.00

0.00

0.00

Inferred

0.89

368.6

31.8

33.5

0.38

0.03

1.23

Total

Measured

3.59

3035.8

53.1

28.7

2.08

0.13

6.18

Indicated

6.60

4797.4

91.9

187.7

4.15

0.20

10.54

Measured & Indicated

10.18

7833.3

144.9

216.4

6.22

0.33

16.71

Inferred

1.87

1168.7

49.6

36.8

0.61

0.06

3.21

Notes:

  1. All tabulated data has been rounded and as a result minor computational errors may occur.
  2. Mineral Resources which are not Mineral Reserves have no demonstrated economic viability.
  3. The Mineral Resource is reported as the total in-situ Mineral Resource.
  4. Metal quantities are reported in multiples of Troy Ounces or Avoirdupois Pounds.
  5. The cut-off grade calculation was based on the following assumptions: zinc price of 1.02 USD/lb, mining cost of 50 USD/tonne, processing cost of 10 USD/tonne, G&A and holding cost of 10 USD/tonne, transport of 55% Zn concentrate at 375 USD/tonne, 90% zinc recovery and 85% payable zinc.

Table 2: Kipushi Copper-Rich Mineral Resource at 1.5% Cu Cut-Off Grade, 23 January 2016

Zone

Category

Tonnes

Cu

Zn

Pb

Ag

Co

Ge

(Millions)

%

%

%

g/t

ppm

g/t

Fault Zone

Measured

0.14

2.78

1.25

0.05

19

107

20

Indicated

1.01

4.17

2.64

0.09

23

216

20

Inferred

0.94

2.94

5.81

0.18

22

112

26

Série Récurrente

Indicated

0.48

4.01

3.82

0.02

21

56

6

Inferred

0.34

2.57

1.02

0.06

8

29

1

Fault Zone Splay

Inferred

0.35

4.99

15.81

0.005

20

127

81

Total

Measured

0.14

2.78

1.25

0.05

19

107

20

Indicated

1.49

4.12

3.02

0.07

22

165

15

Measured & Indicated

1.63

4.01

2.87

0.06

22

160

16

Inferred

1.64

3.30

6.97

0.12

19

98

33

Contained Metal Quantities

Zone

Category

Tonnes

Cu Pounds

Zn Pounds

Pb Pounds

Ag Ounces

Co Pounds

Ge Ounces

(Millions)

(Millions)

(Millions)

(Millions)

(Millions)

(Millions)

(Millions)

Fault Zone

Measured

0.14

8.5

3.8

0.2

0.09

0.03

0.09

Indicated

1.01

93.2

59.1

1.9

0.75

0.48

0.64

Inferred

0.94

61.1

120.9

3.8

0.68

0.23

0.79

Série Récurrente

Indicated

0.48

42.4

40.5

0.2

0.32

0.06

0.09

Inferred

0.34

19.4

7.7

0.4

0.09

0.02

0.01

Fault Zone Splay

Inferred

0.35

38.9

123.3

0.0

0.23

0.10

0.92

Total

Measured

0.14

8.5

3.8

0.2

0.09

0.03

0.09

Indicated

1.49

135.7

99.6

2.1

1.08

0.54

0.73

Measured & Indicated

1.63

144.1

103.4

2.3

1.16

0.58

0.82

Inferred

1.64

119.4

251.8

4.3

1.00

0.35

1.73

Notes:

  1. All tabulated data has been rounded and as a result minor computational errors may occur.
  2. Mineral Resources which are not Mineral Reserves have no demonstrated economic viability.
  3. The Mineral Resource is reported as the total in-situ Mineral Resource.
  4. Metal quantities are reported in multiples of Troy Ounces or Avoirdupois Pounds.
  5. The cut-off grade calculation was based on the following assumptions: copper price of 2.97 USD/lb, mining cost of 50 USD/tonne, processing cost of 10 USD/tonne, G&A and holding cost of 10 USD/tonne, 90% copper recovery and 96% payable copper.

To demonstrate the sensitivity of the resources to cut-off grade, MSA tabulated the zinc-rich zones using a number of cut-off grades as shown in Table 3 (Measured and Indicated) and Table 4 (Inferred) respectively.

Table 3: Kipushi Zinc-Rich bodies Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource Grade Tonnage Table, 23 January 2016

Cut Off

Tonnes

Zn

Contained

Zn Pounds

Cu

Pb

Ag

Co

Ge

Zn%

(Millions)

%

(Millions)

%

%

g/t

ppm

g/t

5

10.46

34.12

7870.0

0.65

0.95

19

15

50

7

10.18

34.89

7833.3

0.65

0.96

19

15

51

10

9.78

35.99

7757.4

0.63

0.98

19

15

52

12

9.50

36.72

7689.4

0.62

1.00

19

15

53

15

9.06

37.85

7559.1

0.59

1.01

20

15

54

Notes:

  1. All tabulated data has been rounded and as a result minor computational errors may occur.
  2. Mineral Resources which are not Mineral Reserves have no demonstrated economic viability.
  3. The Mineral Resource is reported as the total in-situ Mineral Resource.
  4. Metal quantities are reported in multiples of Troy Ounces or Avoirdupois Pounds.

Table 4: Kipushi Zinc-Rich bodies Inferred Mineral Resource Grade Tonnage Table, 23 January 2016

Cut Off

Tonnes

Zn

Contained

Zn Pounds

Cu

Pb

Ag

Co

Ge

Zn%

(Millions)

%

(Millions)

%

%

g/t

ppm

g/t

5

1.89

27.98

1168.8

1.19

0.88

10

15

53

7

1.87

28.24

1165.7

1.18

0.88

10

15

53

10

1.82

28.85

1154.8

1.17

0.88

10

15

54

12

1.75

29.47

1139.8

1.15

0.87

10

15

55

15

1.56

31.42

1082.1

1.08

0.83

10

15

57

Notes:

  1. All tabulated data has been rounded and as a result minor computational errors may occur.
  2. Mineral Resources which are not Mineral Reserves have no demonstrated economic viability.
  3. The Mineral Resource is reported as the total in-situ Mineral Resource.
  4. Metal quantities are reported in multiples of Troy Ounces or Avoirdupois Pounds.

The Measured and Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource for the copper-rich bodies has been tabulated using a number of cut-off grades as shown in Tables 5 and 6 respectively.

Table 5: Kipushi Copper-Rich bodies Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource Grade Tonnage Table, 23 January 2016

Cut Off

Tonnes

Cu

Contained

Cu Pounds

Zn

Pb

Ag

Co

Ge

Cu%

(Millions)

%

(Millions)

%

%

g/t

ppm

g/t

1.0

2.56

3.00

169.2

2.01

0.05

17

114

11

1.5

1.63

4.01

144.1

2.87

0.06

22

160

16

2.0

1.17

4.92

126.6

3.66

0.08

26

202

19

2.5

0.95

5.54

115.8

4.06

0.08

29

227

20

3.0

0.82

5.99

108.0

4.32

0.08

30

244

20

Notes:

  1. All tabulated data has been rounded and as a result minor computational errors may occur.
  2. Mineral Resources which are not Mineral Reserves have no demonstrated economic viability.
  3. The Mineral Resource is reported as the total in-situ Mineral Resource.
  4. Metal quantities are reported in multiples of Troy Ounces or Avoirdupois Pounds.

Table 6: Kipushi Copper-Rich bodies Inferred Mineral Resource Grade Tonnage Table, 23 January 2016

Cut Off

Tonnes

Cu

Contained

Cu Pounds

Zn

Pb

Ag

Co

Ge

Cu%

(Millions)

%

(Millions)

%

%

g/t

ppm

g/t

1.0

2.40

2.64

139.8

5.85

0.09

16

79

29

1.5

1.64

3.30

119.4

6.97

0.12

19

98

33

2.0

1.24

3.81

104.2

7.29

0.13

20

109

33

2.5

0.90

4.40

87.6

8.01

0.13

21

113

34

3.0

0.68

4.95

74.0

8.38

0.15

21

118

34

Notes:

  1. All tabulated data has been rounded and as a result minor computational errors may occur.
  2. Mineral Resources which are not Mineral Reserves have no demonstrated economic viability.
  3. The Mineral Resource is reported as the total in-situ Mineral Resource.
  4. Metal quantities are reported in multiples of Troy Ounces or Avoirdupois Pounds.

The Mineral Resource has been declared from approximately 1,150 metres below surface, extensive mining having historically taken place in the levels above. Although exploration potential, including pillars and remnants, exists above the -1,150-metre level, this has not been closely examined during the current phase of exploration activity and was not included in the model for reporting of the Mineral Resource. The maximum depth of the Mineral Resource of 1,810 metres below surface is dictated by the extent of drilling. The Mineral Resource plunges toward the DRC-Zambia border and therefore has been constrained to the area considered to be within the DRC.

Final drill results from underground exploration confirm expansion of the Big Zinc Zone and Fault Zone and demonstrate that the mineralized zones are still open.

Additional exploration drilling in the southern extension area sucessfully confirmed that both the Big Zinc Zone and Fault Zone remain open at depth and to the south with significant intersections on both structures in recent drilling. Additional high-grade copper-zinc-germanium mineralization also was discovered in the Fault Zone and in Fault Zone Splay in the immediate footwall of the Fault Zone. The new assay results and the interpretation of the connectivity of the zones with the main Big Zinc body are shown in Figures 4, 5 and 6. The disclosed results were included in the database used for the resource estimate. Highlights of the drilling included:

  • KPU079 drilled on section line 6S intersected 11.8 metres of mixed massive sulphide, (4.2 metres true thickness) grading 4.0% copper, 16.5% zinc, 6 g/t silver and 61 g/t germanium. At 1,825 metres below surface this remains the deepest intersection to date from the Kipushi project.
  • KPU081 drilled on section line 6S intersected Big Zinc sphalerite from 289.6 metres to 308.1 metres grading 39.8% zinc, 0.3% copper and 80 g/t germanium and from 361.8 metres to 373.2 metres grading 47.8% zinc, 0.2% copper and 58 g/t germanium. The hole continued to a Fault Zone Splay intersection of 60.5 metres, (21.7 metres true thickness) grading 2.6% copper, 36.2% zinc, 19 g/t silver and 204 g/t germanium to a depth of 1,763 metres. Included in this interval was an intersection from 580.9 metres to 591.3 metres (3.8 metres true thickness) grading 56.3% zinc, 0.5% copper, 12 g/t silver and 397 g/t germanium.
  • KPU095 drilled on section line 6S intersected 46.8 metres of Big Zinc massive sphalerite grading 43.0% zinc, 0.4% copper and 59 g/t germanium. A second Fault Zone interval intersected 21.9 metres (6.0 metres true thickness) of massive chalcopyrite grading 14.5% copper, 7.0% zinc and 58 g/t silver.

Main underground pumping station re-established at 1,210-metre level

In December 2015, Ivanhoe achieved a major milestone in its upgrading of Kipushi’s underground infrastructure when the water level in Shaft 5 was pumped below the mine’s main pumping station situated at 1,210 metres underground.

The dewatering program, implemented by Ivanhoe in late 2011, has been successful and the water levels are now being maintained below Kipushi’s main pumping station on the 1,210-metre level. Three new, high-capacity Grifo pumps have been purchased and will be installed at the main pumping station alongside the five existing high-capacity Sulzer pumps that are being refurbished. The expected cost of the upgrade and refurbishment of the main pumping station is expected to be approximately US$3.8 million. The new Grifo pumps are expected to be commissioned in the third quarter of this year and, in conjunction with the refurbished Sulzer pumps, will provide sufficient pumping capacity to keep the entire mine dewatered with a 100% pumping redundancy.

In November 23, Ivanhoe Mines and Fio Corporation expand innovative initiative to combat malaria in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Public and private collaboration is advancing the DRC’s fight against malaria with automated reading of diagnostic tests

Click here to read the full announcement

Follow the link to watch the full video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZ6y7V2PwWs

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