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Ivanhoe Defers Australian Copper Mine to Focus on Molybdenum

Ivanhoe Australia Ltd., a unit of billionaire Robert Friedland’s Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., will defer a copper development in Queensland to focus on other projects including the Merlin molybdenum deposit in the state.

The outcome of a pre-feasibility study on the Mount Dore copper cathode project showed further analysis is required, while the estimated capital cost for the project has increased, Ivanhoe Australia said today in a statement. Ivanhoe Mines owns the $6 billion Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine in Mongolia.

“Finalization of the pre-feasibility study will be deferred until further testwork has been concluded,” Ivanhoe said. The company will focus on advancing the Osborne copper and gold mine, the Merlin molybdenum and rhenium project and the Mount Elliott copper and gold project, it said.

The Merlin molybdenum and rhenium project in northwestern Queensland will initially cost A$345 million ($356 million) and is estimated to produce 5,100 tons of molybdenum and 7,300 kilograms of rhenium annually for the first seven years following ramp-ups, Ivanhoe said.

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