Ivanhoe Mines to Begin Sinking Bulk-Sample Shaft At Its Platreef Platinum-Group
Metals, Nickel, Copper and Gold Project on South
Africa's Bushveld Complex
Shaft that will provide access to underground Flatreef Discovery has
been approved by Department of Mineral Resources
Aveng Mining working as shaft-sinking contractor
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA -- (Marketwired) -- 09/09/13 -- Robert
Friedland, Executive Chairman of Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN) (formerly
Ivanplats, TSX: IVP), and Lars-Eric Johansson, Chief Executive
Officer, announced today that the company is proceeding with the
sinking of a bulk-sample shaft to access the underground Flatreef
platinum, palladium, nickel, copper, gold and rhodium discovery at
its Platreef Project in South Africa's Bushveld Complex.
The South African government's Department of Mineral Resources has
notified Ivanhoe Mines of its approval of the planned bulk-sampling
Contractor mobilization and site preparation for the
7.25-metre-diameter Shaft #1 will begin in Q4 2013 and approximately
250 contract employees will be working on the shaft once the sinking
work begins. The vertical shaft will extend to a depth below surface
of 800 metres and facilitate the collection of a mineralized bulk
sample in the second half of 2015 to complete the company's
development assessment of the Flatreef.
Shaft #1 is expected to cost US$80 million (ZAR 818 million), which
is expected to be fully funded from the approximately US$180 million
in dedicated funds remaining in Ivanhoe's treasury from the US$280
million received in 2011 for the sale of an 8% interest in the
Platreef Project to a Japanese consortium of Itochu Corporation,
Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) and JGC
Ivanhoe Mines is working with the Japanese consortium on an
integrated Flatreef development plan based on an exclusively
underground mining operation of up to 12 million tonnes per year
utilizing multiple shafts. The study is expected to be completed late
this year or early next year.
"This is a very significant development in the life of our South
African project," said Mr. Friedland. "After 18 years of determined
exploration that produced this truly amazing discovery, the sinking
of the bulk-sample shaft is a crucial step in moving the Flatreef
Discovery toward production as a state-of-the-art underground mine.
We are at the stage where we need get underground and obtain a bulk
sample from the mineral deposit to confirm Flatreef's metallurgy and
mining characteristics to help us finalize our design and operations
"Together with our Japanese partners and our South African employees,
we look forward to the day when we can take our stakeholders and
investors underground to show them firsthand the incredible
thickness, grades and continuity of the Flatreef platinum, palladium,
nickel, copper, gold and rhodium mineralization.
"We're committed to working with all stakeholders to create
much-needed jobs and contribute significantly to the socio-economic
development of our host communities, the surrounding Limpopo region
and South Africa as a whole as we advance through construction and
launch initial production."
Aveng Mining is shaft-sinking contractor
South Africa-based Aveng Mining is the sinking contractor for Shaft
#1 and has been working on shaft engineering and design since June
Mr. Friedland said that given the Flatreef Deposit's remarkably thick
mineralized zones, Ivanhoe Mines is committed to ensuring that its
underground operations will be at the forefront of safe, new mining
"Compared to an open-pit mine, the planned mine at Flatreef will have
a greatly reduced surface footprint because the majority of the
mine's operations, including workshops, crushers and other
infrastructure, will be underground," Mr. Friedland added.
"We believe that the unique characteristics of our Flatreef Discovery
offer us the opportunity to take a quantum leap forward in the
application of ethical mining practices, providing for a
highly-mechanized, automated and safe working environment for a new
generation of skilled and trained South African workers.
"The extraordinary utility afforded by platinum and palladium,
particularly their use in catalytic converters in motor vehicles and
fuel cells, combined with growing calls for improved air quality from
countries around the world, means there will be expanding demand for
these metals. South Africa is blessed with an enormous resource
endowment of platinum and palladium and Ivanhoe Mines, with its
discovery of the Flatreef mineral system, expects to be at the
forefront of a resurgent South African PGMs industry in the decades
Mr. Johansson said that when the shaft sinking begins, the Platreef
Project will directly employ approximately 550 workers, including
full-time staff, drillers and shaft sinking contractors. "Ivanhoe
will continue to encourage our contractors to employ men and women
from our host communities and once the Platreef Mining Right is
granted, employment at the project should increase significantly as
the mine development and construction ramps up.
"Our intention is to build a world-class underground mine for many
decades to come. Eventually the project could create some 10,000
direct and indirect jobs, and will considerably stimulate the local
and regional economies."
Platreef Mining Right Application filed in June 2013
In June 2013, Ivanhoe Mines filed a Mining Right Application (MRA)
for the Platreef Project with the Department of Mineral Resources
(DMR). A Mining Right allows a company to mine and process minerals
optimally from the mining area for a maximum period of 30 years,
which may be extended upon application.
The company has begun the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment
(ESIA) process. The MRA review will involve a thorough assessment of
Ivanhoe's Environmental Management Program, Social and Labour Plan
and Mining Work Program, which must be filed with the DMR by February
24, 2014. The ESIA will engage with all interested stakeholders,
including local communities and governments.
Current drilling focus on advancing technical studies and expanding
Ivanhoe Mines has 11 drill rigs at the Platreef Project, with 10 rigs
drilling metallurgical/geo-technical holes and one exploration rig
targeting a potential contiguous, high-grade mineralized zone to the
southeast of Flatreef's Zone 1. The exploration drilling program is
focused on delineating the exploration target - Ga-Madiba - that is
believed to represent the southern continuation of the shallow
Flatreef underground deposit. The company is adding another four rigs
to the exploration drilling program.
The Platreef Project is a Tier One discovery of platinum-group
elements, nickel, copper and gold which contains the Flatreef
underground deposit, on the Bushveld's Northern Limb, north of the
town of Mokopane and approximately 280 kilometres northeast of
Johannesburg. The project is located on two contiguous rights,
Turfspruit and Macalacaskop, which adjoin Anglo Platinum's
Mogalakwena mining operations.
The Flatreef Mineral Resource, with a strike length of six
kilometres, predominantly lies within a flat to gently dipping
portion of the Platreef mineralized belt at relatively shallow depths
of approximately 700 to 1,100 metres below surface.
The Flatreef Deposit is characterized by its very large vertical
thicknesses of high-grade mineralization and the
platinum-to-palladium ratio of approximately 1:1, which is
significantly higher than other PGMs discoveries on northern limb of
the Bushveld. The grade shells used to constrain mineralization in
the Flatreef Indicated Resource area have average true thicknesses of
approximately 24 metres at a 2 g/t 3PE (platinum-palladium-gold)
cut-off grade, with an equivalent average resource grade of 4.1 g/t
4PE (platinum-palladium-gold-rhodium), 0.34% nickel and 0.17% copper.
Flatreef's Indicated Mineral Resources of 214 million tonnes contain
an estimated 28.5 million ounces of platinum, palladium, gold and
rhodium, 1.6 billion pounds of nickel and 800 million pounds of
At the same cut-off of 2 g/t 4PE, the latest Flatreef estimate
includes Inferred Mineral Resources of 415 million tonnes grading 3.5
g/t 4PE, 0.33% nickel and 0.16% copper, containing an estimated
additional 47.2 million ounces of platinum, palladium, gold and
rhodium, 3.0 billion pounds of nickel and 1.5 billion pounds of
The scientific and technical information in this release has been
reviewed and approved by Stephen Torr, Ivanhoe Mines' Vice President,
Project Geology and Evaluation, a Qualified Person under the terms of
National Instrument 43-101. For information about data verification
measures used to support the scientific and technical information,
please refer to the current technical report on the Platreef Project
on the SEDAR profile of Ivanhoe Mines at www.sedar.com.
In March 2013, Ivanplats received a new independent Technical Report
for the Flatreef Deposit. The Technical Report, prepared by AMEC in
accordance with CIM Guidelines and directed by AMEC Technical
Director Dr. Harry Parker, is available at www.ivanhoemines.com and
About Ivanhoe Mines
Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN) (formerly Ivanplats, TSX: IVP), with offices
in Canada, the United Kingdom and South Africa, is advancing and
developing its three principal projects:
-- The Kamoa copper discovery in a previously unknown extension of the
Central African Copperbelt in the DRC's Province of Katanga.
-- The Platreef Discovery of platinum, palladium nickel, copper, gold and
rhodium on the Northern Limb of the Bushveld Complex in South Africa.
-- The historic, high-grade Kipushi zinc-copper-germanium mine, also on the
Copperbelt in the DRC and now being dewatered and upgraded to support a
future return to production of copper, zinc and other metals following a
care-and-maintenance program conducted between 1993 and 2011.
Ivanhoe Mines also is evaluating other opportunities as part of its
objective to become a broadly based international mining company.
Statements in this release that are forward-looking statements are
subject to various risks and uncertainties concerning the specific
factors disclosed here and elsewhere in the company's periodic
filings with Canadian securities regulators. When used in this
document, the words such as "could," "plan," "estimate," "expect,"
"intend," "may," "potential," "should" and similar expressions, are
forward-looking statements. Information provided in this document is
necessarily summarized and may not contain all available material
Statements in this release that constitute forward-looking statements
or information include, but are not limited to: the expected cost of
the shaft; the expectation that the shaft costs will be funded by
monies remaining from the Japanese Consortium's $280 million
investment; that contractor mobilization and the earthworks for the
shaft will begin in Q4 2013; the depth of the bulk sample shaft to
800 metres; the size of the bulk sample of Flatreef mineralization to
be obtained; the plan that the Flatreef underground operations will
be at the forefront of safe, new mining technology; the expected
number of jobs the project could eventually create; the intention to
build a world-class underground mine which Ivanhoe believes will be
sustainable for many decades to come; and the planned mine at
Flatreef will have a greatly reduced surface footprint compared to an
All such forward-looking information and statements are based on
certain assumptions and analyses made by Ivanhoe Mines' management in
light of their experience and perception of historical trends,
current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other
factors management believes are appropriate in the circumstances.
These statements, however, are subject to a variety of risks and
uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or
results to differ materially from those projected in the
forward-looking information or statements. Important factors that
could cause actual results to differ from these forward-looking
statements include those described under the heading "Risks and
Uncertainties" in the company's most recently filed MD&A. Readers are
cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information
North America: Bob Williamson +1.604.512.4856
South Africa: Jeremy Michaels +27.11.088.4300
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