Ivanhoe Mines reports ‘exceptional’ grades from first Kipushi assays – by Henry Lazenby (MiningWeekly.com – July 14, 2014)


TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Africa-focused project developer Ivanhoe Mines on Monday reported that the first batch of assay results from the company’s underground diamond-drilling programme at the Kipushi copper/zinc/germanium/lead and precious-metals mine, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, had confirmed initial visual estimates of high-grade zinc and copper mineralisation in both the Big Zinc and copper-rich Serie Recurrente zones.

Among the first significant results were three holes drilled to validate historical models of the down-plunge continuity of Big Zinc mineralisation, which returned zinc grades of 40.9% over 348.5 m, 44.8% over 339.4 m and 33.3% over 305.8 m.

The Canadian firm said the down-plunge geometry of the holes did not allow it to estimate the true widths of the deposits.

The exploration programme found that internal zones of exceptionally rich mineralisation in the first two holes, KPU001 and KPU002, returned zinc grades of 60.4% over 35.1 m, 56.3% over 18 m and 56.6% over 71 m. These internal zones also returned germanium grades of 87.2 g/t, 120.4 g/t and 111.9 g/t respectively.

An internal copper/silver/germanium-rich zone in the third hole, KPU003, graded 6.1% copper, 44.5% zinc, 144 g/t silver and 66.9 g/t germanium over 31 m from 197 m. Historical resource estimates at Kipushi excluded silver and germanium.

KPU003 also discovered a zone grading 58.6% zinc and 293.8 g/t germanium over 22.3 m, about 180 m below the historical measured and indicated resources. This exceptional grade intersection might represent an extension to the Big Zinc or the start of a new zinc- and germanium-rich zone, and would be followed up by ongoing drilling.

Further, Ivanhoe reported that two holes targeting the Serie Recurrente zone at the north end of the Kipushi deposit returned high copper and silver grades. Hole KPU008 intersected 11.4 m (estimated true width of 11.2 m) grading 17% copper and 89.6 g/t silver.

“Zinc grades of between 56% and 60% typically are found in high-quality zinc concentrates, rather than primary mineralisation. These initial assay results highlight the remarkable metal endowment of the mineralisation extending below the Kipushi deposit as previously mined by Gecamines,” Ivanhoe executive chairperson Robert Friedland said.

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