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In the News-Ivanhoe Mines and the Democratic Republic of Congo's President reaffirm joint commitment to support the development of the country's unrivalled mineral potential and to accelerate economic growth and employment
2019/04/09 4962

(Ivonhoe News) WASHINGTON, D.C. ─Robert Friedland and Yufeng “Miles” Sun, Co-Chairmen of Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN; OTCQX: IVPAF), announced todaythat they were very honoured by the warm welcome that they received from President Félix Tshisekediof the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) during his official state visit to Washington, D.C. last week. Mr. Friedland and Mr. Sun expressed strong support for the president’s commitment to attract foreign investment and to accelerate the development of the DRC’s unparalleled mineral potential for the benefit of all stakeholders, as a key element of the country's economic transformation.

On April 6, Mr. Friedland and Mr. Sun, along with senior Ivanhoe executives ─ Egizio Bianchini (Executive Vice Chairman), Louis Watum (Managing Director, DRC Operations), Matthieu Bos (Vice President, Corporate Development), Peter Zhou (Vice President, Chief Representative China) and Lily Tshimpumpu (Director of DRC Government Relations) ─ met with the newly elected president.Michael Hammer, United States Ambassador to the DRC, as well as other US and DRC government officials, also were in attendance.

Discussions were focused on updating the president on the rapid progress being made in the development of the Kamoa-Kakula Project, a joint venture between Ivanhoe, Zijin Mining Group and the DRC government, and the Kipushi Project, a joint venture between Ivanhoe and La Générale des Carrières et des Mines (Gécamines), the DRC state-owned mining company. In addition, Ivanhoe updated the president on the company’s exploration programs in the DRC’s Lualaba Province (part of the former Katanga Province), that may be expanded to include prospective areas of the country’s Kasai Province.

Mr. Friedland and Mr. Sun committed to introduce the president and the DRC government to CITIC Group’s broad capabilities to engineer, construct and finance major infrastructure projects, including highways, railways, ports, bridges and agricultural development that could assist with the economic transformation of the DRC. The president extended an invitation to the senior leadership of CITIC Group to visit the DRC for further meetings to discuss a deep and long-term cooperation.

“We share President Tshisekedi’s determination to develop a strong partnership between international mining companies and the Democratic Republic of Congo,” said Mr. Friedland. “This is a time of historic opportunity for responsible development of the mining sector in the DRC. We look forward to working with all members of the newly-elected government to introduce the Democratic Republic of Congo to investors around the globe. With the continued support of the government, Kamoa-Kakula is on track to become one of the world’s greatest copper mining complexes, helping to cement the DRC as a global, top tier copper producer. The Kipushi Project will benefit from similar support and propel the DRC to become a significant zinc producer as well.

“We are confident that CITIC Metal and its parent CITIC Group have the experience, financial resources and a shared commitment to our objective of advancing these world-class projects to production as quickly as possible, and that they have the skills and capability to assist with the country’s rail, road and power infrastructure redevelopment and expansion. We also are confident that CITIC's comprehensive capabilities will help Ivanhoe strengthen our business relationships with the DRC government and with local communities near our mining projects.

“This relationship will create value for all our stakeholders in the Democratic Republic of Congo. By working closely with our partners and the government, collectively we will generate widely shared economic benefits that will generate sustainable employment and relevant skills training to ensure that young Congolese will qualify for the thousands of meaningful direct and indirect jobs that will be created.”

In the DRC, Ivanhoe and Zijin are focused on the development of a Tier One copper mining complex at Kamoa-Kakula, which was a greenfield discovery made by Ivanhoe’s geological team that triumphed after more than a decade of intensive effort. Kamoa-Kakula is projected to become one of the world’s top three copper mines. Together with Gécamines, Ivanhoe is undertaking the rebirth of the historic Kipushi zinc-copper-germanium-silver mine. Ivanhoe also is exploring for new copper discoveries on its wholly-owned Western Foreland exploration licences, west of the Kamoa-Kakula mining licence.

The Kamoa-Kakula Project is a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines, Zijin Mining Group, Crystal River Global Limited and the DRC government. The Kipushi Project is a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines and Gécamines.