Ivanhoe Mines this week announced a maiden mineral resource estimates for the high-grade Makoko and Kiala deposits within the company’s Western Foreland Exploration Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Makoko deposit contains an indicated mineral resource of 16 million metric tons (mt) at 3.55% copper plus inferred mineral resource of 154 million mt at 1.97% copper using a 1.5% copper cut-off. The Kiala deposit has an indicated mineral resource of 5 million mt at 3.56% copper using a 1.5% copper cut-off.

“These outstanding results are the culmination of over 20 years of effort, starting with grassroots, frontier exploration to define a previously unknown mineral horizon with the potential to host huge copper deposits with spectacular grades,” said Ivanhoe Founder and Executive Co-Chairman Robert Friedland. “The theory was proven to be correct, as our team of visionary geoscientists discovered Kamoa in 2008, followed by the monumental Kakula discovery in 2016. In little over five years, Kakula went from drill core samples to one of the five largest copper mines in the world, with by far the highest grade, thanks to the hard work of our outstanding project and operations teams.

Makoko ranks as the world’s third-largest and highest-grade copper discovery since Kakula in 2016. Ivanhoe has now discovered 38.7 million mt of contained copper in measured and indicated resources and a further 9.4 million mt in inferred resources across the Western Foreland shelf, including Kamoa and Kakula.