Ivanhoe picks banks to evaluate African copper projects

Ivanhoe picks banks to evaluate African copper projects

Farming at the Kamoa copper project.

Africa-focused Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN) has hired BMO Capital Markets Ltd and Morgan Stanley & Co as financial advisers to conduct a strategic review of its copper projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The Canadian company, founded by mining legend Robert Friedland, said Monday the review would primarily focus on the possible introduction of third-party strategic investors or joint-venture parties for the Kamoa and Kipushi copper projects.

Ivanhoe picks banks to evaluate African copper projects

Exploration drilling at Kamoa.

In May the Vancouver, B.C.-based firm had said among the options it was evaluating to deal with insufficient funds for those ventures were splitting the company’s projects into separate publicly-traded entities, asset sales, joint ventures, or alternative stock exchange listings.

A few days later it announced it had entered into agreements to raise C$150 million ($137.6 million) to develop the two projects.

Friedland, responsible for the discovery and development of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Mongolia before Rio Tinto’s (ASX, LON:RIO) acquisition, has big plans for Kamoa and Kipushi.

The first one, in the southern province of Katanga, is a proposed underground mine, with an estimated 43.5 billion pounds of indicated copper resources.

Kipushi, in the same region, is an underground copper, zinc and lead mine that closed in 1993. Ivanhoe bought the asset in 2011 and has been removing water from the flooded mine and exploring underground.

Last year, he committed $24m in share placing to fund these developments, which make up 83% of the Ivanhoe's net asset value, especially Kamoa, said to be the world’s largest undeveloped copper deposit.

Images courtesy of Invanhoe Mines.