JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – TSX-listed Ivanhoe Mines has entered into discussions to start a “new era of production” at the historic Kipushi zinc-copper-silver-germanium mine, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), that could deliver one of the highest-grade major zinc mines worldwide.
Ivanhoe, which, in conjunction with its 32% joint venture (JV) partner State-owned miner Gécamines, recently upgraded Kipushi, is now planning to restore production, with the JV, the Kipushi Corporation, focusing initial mining on the Big Zinc deposit.
Negotiations are under way with Gécamines and DRC’s national railway company Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer du Congo (SNCC), along with potential project financiers, to advance agreements to launch the new era of commercial production, said Ivanhoe executive chairperson Robert Friedland.
Ivanhoe’s drilling has upgraded and expanded the Big Zinc deposit’s measured and indicated mineral resources to an estimated 10.2-million tonnes grading 34.9% zinc, 0.65% copper, 19 g/t silver and 51 g/t germanium, at a 7% zinc cutoff, containing an estimated 7.8-billion pounds of zinc.
Ivanhoe is progressing the prefeasibility study (PFS) to refine the findings of the 2016 preliminary economic assessment (PEA) and optimise the mine’s redevelopment schedule, life-of-mine operating costs and initial capital costs required to return the mine to production.
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