SANTIAGO, April 1 (Reuters) - Ivanhoe Nickel & Platinum, an Africa-focused metals explorer controlled by financier Robert Friedland, said Wednesday it had made a copper discovery “of historic importance” in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In a statement obtained by Reuters at the CRU/CESCO copper conference in Santiago, Friedland said drilling had uncovered “laterally continuous, sediment-hosted, high-grade stratiform copper mineralization in a newly discovered copper district that forms a previously unrecognized western extension of the famous Central African Copper Belt.”
The Central African Copper Belt is host to several world-class properties, including Freeport-McMoRan’s (FCX.N) Tenke-Fungurume deposit.
Friedland said the company is in confidential discussions with “a carefully selected number of the world’s leading, private and state-owned international mining companies” to form a partnership to develop the project.
Friedland is best known for discovering the massive Voisey’s Bay nickel deposit in eastern Canada. He also controls Ivanhoe Mines (IVN.TO), which is developing the massive Oyu Tolgoi copper/gold deposit in Mongolia in partnership with Rio Tinto. (Reporting by Cameron French; Editing by John Picinich)