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Aug 29, 2016

Ivanhoe seeks ‘strategic advice’ in wake of unsolicited interest

Mining

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Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. (IVN.TO) says it plans to get “strategic advice” to deal with the unsolicited interest the company and its projects have received in recent months.

Robert Friedland, executive chairman of the Vancouver-based company, said on Monday it’s likely an investment bank will be hired and its mandate will be to advise the board on all strategic options for Ivanhoe.

One of Ivanhoe’s key projects is the Kakula high-grade copper deposit in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“The mining industry has taken notice of our company,” Mr. Friedland said in a news release.

“Our remarkable Kakula Discovery on the Central African Copperbelt certainly is helping to generate attention. We have received a number of unsolicited inquiries from significant mining industry participants in Asia, Europe, Africa and elsewhere. In response, our board has taken the prudent decision to seek strategic advice.”

Ivanhoe shares rose 8 cents – or almost 5 per cent – to $1.77 in early-morning trading Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Mr. Friedland made his name with the $4.3-billion sale of the Voisey’s Bay nickel-copper-cobalt discovery in northern Labrador to Inco Ltd. in 1996.

Ivanhoe said on Monday it also has started investor and banking analyst tours of its projects, including Kakula.

Analysts and investors need to get a first-hand understanding of the progress and potential of the project as well as its scale, Ivanhoe chief executive officer Lars-Eric Johansson said.

“Following this, we can obtain strategic advice and make informed decisions that benefit our shareholders and the other governmental, community and local stakeholders in our projects.”

The government of the DRC currently owns a 5 per cent stake in the Kamoa copper project, which includes Kakula, and that is expected to rise to 20 per cent.

China’s Zijin Mining company took a 49.5 per cent position last December.

Ivanhoe has three major projects in sub-Saharan Africa: the Platreef platinum-palladium-gold-nickel-copper discovery in South Africa; mine development and exploration at the Kamoa copper project; and upgrading and exploration at the Kipushi zinc-copper-lead-germanium mine in the DRC.