Ivanhoe Mines and BHP Billiton have discovered a new zone of shallow copper-molybdenum-gold mineralization 10 km north of the Ivanhoe Mines Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mining complex currently under construction in southern Mongolia. The discovery, known as Ulaan Khud North, extends the known strike length of the Oyu Tolgoi mineralized system by an additional 3 km to the north.

Ulaan Khud North is located on a 19,625-ha exploration license that is part of the Ivanhoe-BHP Billiton joint venture formed in 2005. BHP Billiton has earned a 50% interest in the joint venture by spending $8 million in exploration costs and conducting an airborne gravity gradiometer survey over the Oyu Tolgoi area.

Twenty-five drill holes totaling 6,561 m, ranging in depth from 182 m to 377 m, defined the new zone of shallow porphyry copper mineralization over an area of 600 m by 300 m. The mineralized zone starts beneath 60 m to 80 m of Cretaceous clay and gravels. Ivanhoe’s geologists believe the near-surface copper mineralization discovered to date may be part of a much larger deposit.

Mineralization occurs in quartz monzodiorite similar to mineralized quartz monzodiorites at Oyu Tolgoi. Many holes encountered mineralization of greater than 1% copper in multiple individual 1-m samples, while almost all holes have longer intervals of mineralization grading greater than 0.3% copper. Numerous post-mineral intrusive rocks cut the mineralized quartz monzodiorite and define the boundaries of most mineralized intervals.

The pre-mining agreement for the Ulaan Khud North property specifies that Ivanhoe and BHP Billiton have three years to conduct additional exploration, complete an environmental impact study, prepare a final feasibility study, and gain approval for the design for the project.

Resource Center Whitepapers, Videos, Case Studies

Let's stay in touch!

All of the latest mining news and our digital edition sent to your inbox once a week.

We'll never share your email address, and you can opt out at any time, we promise.