Congo gets firmer grip on Ivanhoe’s Kamoa-Kakula copper project

Canada’s Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN) and its joint-venture partner Zijin Mining Group are transferring an additional 15% interest in their Kamoa-Kakula copper project to the DRC’s government.

Deal increases Congo’s stake in the project, which Ivanhoe believes it could prove to be Africa's most significant copper deposit ever found, to 20%.

The deal increases Congo’s stake in the project, which Ivanhoe believes it could prove to be Africa's most significant deposit of the red metal ever found, to 20%.

“This is a historically significant event for the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo,” Robert Friedland, executive chairman of Ivanhoe, said in a statement.

“We are now united as partners committed to working toward our shared objective of ensuring that the major copper discoveries we have made at Kamoa and Kakula during the past eight years are predictably, efficiently and expeditiously developed into a world-scale mining venture with a lifespan of multiple generations.”

As a result of the transaction, Ivanhoe Mines and Zijin each hold now an indirect 39.6% interest in the project, while Crystal River Global holds an indirect 0.8% interest and the DRC owns the rest.

The parties also agreed that 300 Class A shares shall be non-dilutable until five years from the start date of commercial production.

Ivanhoe Mines estimates the asset, discovered in 2007, holds the equivalent of at least 45 million tonnes of pure copper. The company aims to extract 300,000 tonnes per year once the mine is operating at full tilt.