Canadian mining company Ivanhoe Mines has announced plans to begin exploration activities in Angola next year, after securing greenfield prospecting rights over an area the size of Switzerland for an initial period of five years, according to reports.
Ivanhoe signed the deal for the 22,195-kilometre area at the Angolan Mining Conference at the end of November. Founder Robert Friedland said they felt “incredibly privileged” to secure rights to such a massive swath of land with “outstanding geological potential”.
Ivanhoe will hold full prospecting rights for the initial five-year period, with the option to extend the permit for a maximum of seven years at 50 percent prospecting rights. The company expects to begin activities following team mobilisation in early 2024.
Located in the southeast corner of Angola, the prospecting area ranges from Moxico Province, bordering Namibia and Zambia, up to the province of Cuanda Cubango, bordering Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Much of the more than 22,000-kilometre area is covered by Kalahari sand and Karoo volcanics, igneous rock deposits that pre-date the dinosaurs, which make conventional exploration techniques less effective. Ivanhoe says it will deploy the expertise developed in its successful Kamoa-Kakula complex in neighbouring DRC under similar conditions.
Ivanhoe has committed to an initial exploration budget of US$10 million. “Our goal is to make Angola a globally significant producer of strategic minerals that our planet so desperately needs, for many generations to come,” said Friedland. Multinational mining companies Anglo American and Rio Tinto have also undertaken greenfield exploration activities in Angola.