Ivanhoe MinesLtd. and its joint venture partner arepreparing to accelerate a planned infill drilling program at the Kakuladiscovery of their Kamoa copper project in the Democratic Republic of Congostarting in May, Ivanhoe Executive Chairman Robert Friedland said April 6.
Friedland told delegates at the World Copper Conference inSantiago, Chile, that the Kamoa exploration team's goal is to complete about25,000 meters of additional drilling at Kakula this year.
Infill drilling will target thick, flat-lying, shallowresources at grades materially higher than the average grades at Kamoa thatcould be incorporated into the phase 1 feasibility study and further enhancethe project's economics, as reported in a recently released .
The accelerated 2016 drill program will initially focus on a12-square-kilometer area along the projected trend of mineralizationintersected in two holes completed in 2015 that are among the highest-grade andhighest-grade-thickness intersections drilled to-date within the Kamoa license.
Meanwhile, the current drill program includes infilldrilling, with a view to define indicated resources in areas where thecontinuity of materially higher grade is confirmed.
According to Friedland, access and drill roads in the Kakuladiscovery area are also being upgraded to support the additional diamond drillrigs that will be mobilized to the site in early May.
The independent pre-feasibility study for the first phasedevelopment of the Kamoa copper project indicated a posttax net present valueat US$986 million — using an 8% discount rate — and an internal rate of returnof 17.2%, with a payback period of 4.6 years.