Vancouver and South Africa-based Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN) (OTCQX: IVPAF) has been granted a vast land package for copper exploration in Angola, spanning 22,195 square kilometres.
On Monday, Ivanhoe announced signing a mining investment contract with the African country’s National Agency for Mineral Resources. The deal was signed during the 2023 Angolan Mining Conference in the capital Luanda on Nov. 23.
The company now has prospecting rights in the nation’s Moxico and Cuando Cubango provinces. Ivanhoe will start its exploration activities in January next year.
“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’s Founder Robert Friedland.
“We are incredibly privileged to own 100 per cent of a massive exploration land package with outstanding geological potential,” he added.
Drilling to commence late 2024
Ivanhoe will be scouting out the land package for a prospective central camp location in early 2024 prior to conducting a series of surveys in Q2 and eventual drilling. The company has a $10 million exploration budget.
Ivanhoe has the option to extend its prospecting rights for up to seven years after the initial five-year license period has concluded. The company will also lose 50 per cent of its prospecting rights after that first five-year term.
Ivanhoe says it will use the same exploration techniques it developed from the Kamoa-Kakula and Western Foreland discoveries in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The company operates the major Kamoa-Kakula copper complex in a joint venture with Zijin Mining (SHA: 601899).
Angola’s primary resources are oil and diamonds but the country also has significant copper and gold reserves. The African nation is the world’s third-largest producer of diamonds.
The country just announced that it had started mining diamonds at the new Luele project, Angola’s largest resource of the expensive commodity. More than 98 per cent of the government’s revenue comes from diamonds, according to a group of journalists from Mining Africa.