Ivanhoe Mines announced in mid-December that the company’s ongoing dewatering program at the previously mined Kipushi mine near Lumbumbashi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is expected to complete dewatering to the bottom of the mine’s lowest level, at 1,270 m below surface, during the first quarter of 2014.
This progress puts the company in a position to begin its planned 2014 underground diamond-drilling program at Kipushi. The pro- gram is scheduled to complete approximately 100 holes totaling more than 20,000 m.
The previously mined Fault zone is known to extend to at least 1,800 m below surface, based on drilling reports by state-owned mining company Gécamines. The Big Zinc zone is an extremely high-grade zinc deposit adjacent to the Fault zone. It was discovered shortly before the mine ceased production in 1993 and was never mined.
The Big Zinc zone is accessible from existing underground workings, has a strike length of at least 100 and a true thickness calculated at 40 m to 80 m, and is open to depth. Gécamines reported that multiple, steeply dipping, Big Zinc exploratory holes intersected zinc mineralization grading 42% to 45% zinc between the 1,375-m and 1,600-m levels, with estimated apparent thicknesses of between 60 m and 100 m.
The majority of the drilling will be conducted from sites on the hanging-wall development drift at the 1,270-m level and from the footwall ramp below the 1,150-m level.