LD-SB Angola-VF2 3-minIvanhoe Mines announced that the company has been granted 22,195 km2 of greenfield prospecting rights for exploration in the Moxico and Cuando Cubango Provinces of Angola, an area about half the size of Switzerland. A mining investment contract (MIC), officially granting the prospecting rights, was signed with the Angolan National Agency for Mineral Resources during the 2023 Angolan Mining Conference held in Luanda on November 23, 2023.

The extensive package of prospecting rights covers highly prospective, greenfield copper exploration ground. Ivanhoe’s exploration activities are expected to commence following team mobilization in the new year.

Also at the Angolan Mining Conference, the Angolan Secretary of State for Mineral Resources, Jânio Victor, on behalf of the Instituto Geologico de Angola (Geological Institute of Angola) and the U.S. Ambassador for Angola, Tulinabo Salama Mushingi, on behalf of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), signed a memorandum of understanding to work together mapping the country’s critical minerals, such as copper, lithium, cobalt and manganese.

“Ivanhoe Mines has an exceptional track record of discovering tier-one deposits in new frontiers… and we are now commencing exploration activities in the underexplored regions of Angola that we believe could host an extension of the Central African Copperbelt,” said Ivanhoe Mines Executive Co-Chair Robert Friedland. “We thank the government of Angola for welcoming Ivanhoe Mines and entrusting us to explore their vast mineral endowment. Our goal is to make Angola a globally significant producer of strategic minerals that our planet so desperately needs, for many generations to come.”

The prospecting rights have limited prior exploration conducted to date. The greenfield area is covered by Kalahari sand and Karoo volcanics across much of the permitted area, similar to the Kamoa-Kakula licenses, making conventional exploration techniques less effective. Ivanhoe’s exploration team will be deploying their exploration experience and expertise developed from its discoveries of Kamoa-Kakula and the Western Foreland in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Anglo American and Rio Tinto also have greenfield exploration activities in the region.

Ivanhoe’s exploration team will conduct a reconnaissance visit in Q1 2024 across the licenses to scout out access, logistics and potential locations for a central camp. In Q2 2024, as the rainy season ends, the team will commence airborne magnetics, gravity and electro-magnetics geophysical surveys, as well as to undertake a baseline soil geochemistry survey. The geochemistry survey will be conducted over a specific area, testing soil geochemistry responses through the cover sequences. Later in the year, aircore and stratigraphic diamond drilling will be conducted to verify preliminary geological interpretations. Ivanhoe has committed to an initial exploration budget for the region of $10 million.

The prospecting rights are granted for an initial period of five years and may be extended for a maximum of seven years. At the end of the initial period of five years, 50% of the prospecting rights are required to be relinquished.