SANDTON, SOUTH AFRICA – Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN; OTCQX: IVPAF) Executive Co-Chair Robert Friedland announced today that the company has secured options to use electricity generated from renewable, green, solar power together with liquefied natural gas (LNG) to power its Tier-One Platreef palladium, rhodium, nickel, platinum, copper and gold project in South Africa.
Construction of Ivanhoe’s first solar power plant at the Platreef Mine is set to begin next month. The initial 5-megawatt (MW) plant is expected to begin supplying clean, solar-generated electricity to the mine in early 2023.
“We have committed to our stakeholders that we will explore every avenue available to minimize the environmental impact of producing metals that are critical to the electrification of the global economy,” said Mr. Friedland. “Powering our massive Platreef Mine with reliable electricity generated by ‘green power’ options, such as solar and natural gas, offers a 24-hour-a-day alternative to the coal-fired national electrical grid and dramatically reduces Platreef’s carbon emissions. A power plant running on natural gas generates approximately 50% fewer carbon dioxide emissions than one burning coal.”
“Having a reliable source of clean, renewable electricity from a solar-power plant at the Platreef Mine is an important step in our journey toward net-zero carbon emissions,” Mr. Friedland added.
In 2021, South Africa’s government officially raised the licencing threshold for embedded generation projects from 1 MW to 100 MW, clearing the way for miners to start generating their own electricity.
Design and engineering of the initial 5-MW solar plant at the Platreef Mine is complete and construction is set to commence next month, with commissioning expected in early 2023. The solar-generated power from this initial plant will be used for mine development and construction activities, as well as for charging Platreef’s battery-powered underground mining fleet, further reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Construction is progressing rapidly at the Platreef Mine and initial production is expected from the first phase of operations in Q3 2024. Ivanhoe expects the Platreef Mine to require approximately 30 MW of installed electrical power for its Phase 1 operations, and approximately 100 MW for its Phase 2 operations at full production.
Ivanhoe Mines indirectly owns 64% of the Platreef Project through its subsidiary, Ivanplats, and is directing all mine development work. The South African beneficiaries of the approved broad-based, black economic empowerment structure have a 26% stake in the Platreef Project. The remaining 10% is owned by a Japanese consortium of ITOCHU Corporation; Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation; ITC Platinum Development Ltd., an ITOCHU affiliate; and Japan Gas Corporation.
Strategic investment in Renergen Limited gives Ivanhoe the exclusive right to negotiate an electricity offtake agreement
In addition to moving forward on constructing its first solar-power facility at the Platreef Mine, Ivanplats has acquired the exclusive right to negotiate an offtake agreement with South Africa-based Renergen Limited for electricity generated from Renergen’s gas and solar hybrid-power facility to be constructed at the Virginia Gas Project located in South Africa’s Witwatersrand Basin, approximately 600 kilometres south west of the Platreef Mine.
Ivanhoe is confident that the electricity generated from Renergen’s gas and solar hybrid-power facility could be combined with Ivanhoe’s solar power facilities to provide Platreef with an uninterruptible power supply to meet the mine’s base-load requirements.
Renergen is an emerging producer of helium, energy and liquefied natural gas (LNG) with near-term production and sales of compressed natural gas (CNG) and helium from its Virginia Gas Project that comprises exploration and production rights of 187,000 hectares (1,870 square kilometres) of gas fields across Welkom, Virginia, and Theunissen, in the Free State, South Africa.
Ivanhoe has made an initial equity investment in Renergen of approximately US$13 million, which gives Ivanhoe an approximate 4.35% interest in Renergen’s issued and outstanding shares. Ivanhoe also has the right to nominate one director to Renergen’s board of directors, and is entitled to customary anti-dilution rights. Renergen is listed on the JSE and A2X exchanges under the ticker REN and on the ASX under the ticker RLT.
Under the terms of the initial investment, Ivanhoe has the option to subscribe for up to 25% of the total issued and outstanding Renergen shares following the assessment period, at a 10% discount to the 30-day VWAP, in consideration for cash or shares in Ivanhoe. Further to this second subscription, Ivanhoe will have the option to subscribe for up to 55% of the total issued and outstanding shares, at a 10% discount to the 30-day VWAP, to provide the equity funding for Phase 2 at the Virginia Gas Project.
Ivanhoe Mines and Renergen senior officials sign the agreement for Ivanhoe’s initial equity investment in Renergen. Front row (L-R): David King (Chairman, Renergen), Marna Cloete (President, Ivanhoe Mines), Stefano Marani (CEO, Renergen); Back row (L-R): Nick Mitchell (COO, Renergen), David van Heerden (CFO, Ivanhoe Mines).
The Virginia Gas Project’s natural gas formation is a result of a freak cosmological event approximately two billion years ago that saw the largest known asteroid ever to hit the planet plough into South Africa’s Witwatersrand geological complex, near the town of Vredefort.
The impact of the giant asteroid created the largest known crater on earth (the Vredefort Crater), roughly 330 kilometres in diameter. The impact essentially created a seal, capping ultra-rich underground deposits of uranium and thorium in place, allowing the minerals to undergo natural radioactive decay to produce alpha particles, which become helium.
The impact of the asteroid also established the ideal conditions for early bacteria to congregate. Much like how chlorophyll in plants feed off radioactive energy from the sun, these early bacteria evolved to feed off the radioactivity from the uranium to metabolize carbon in the rocks into methane. Thus, the alpha particles serve not only the purpose of creating high helium concentrations, but also providing the energy required to allow bacteria to live deep underground, which is why this gas reserve has been classified as renewable by the Petroleum Agency of South Africa.
While the methane produced from the Virginia Gas Project is not zero-carbon, it is believed to be regenerated by these bacteria, which explains the exceedingly long lifespan of the wells, most of which were drilled several decades ago and have shown no signs of decreasing in flow.
The Virginia Gas Project also contains one of the richest helium concentrations recorded globally, with readings of up to 12%. Helium is in high demand for use in a range of technologies, including advanced rockets and spacecraft, semiconductors, fibre-optic cables, computer chips, welding, industrial leak detection, cryogenics, nuclear power plants, laboratory equipment and MRI machines.
Renergen’s Virginia Gas Project is located approximately 600 kilometres southwest of the Platreef Project.
Geological map showing Renergen’s Production and Exploration Rights (in the red circle) on the rim of the Vredefort Crater, formed by an asteroid strike approximately two billion years ago, where natural helium is produced from the radioactive decay of ultra-high uranium concentrations below the crater.
More information can be found on Renergen’s website at https://www.renergen.co.za/
Platreef charging ahead with securing the water and power needed to expand the mine into one of the world’s largest and greenest PGMs, nickel and copper producers
Ivanhoe recently announced that the Platreef Mine had signed new agreements for the rights to receive local, treated waste water to supply the bulk water needed for the planned phased development at Platreef.
Under the terms of a new offtake agreement, the Mogalakwena Local Municipality has agreed to supply at least three million litres per day of treated effluent, up to a maximum of 10 million litres per day for 32 years, from the date of first production, sourced from the town of Mokopane’s Masodi Waste Water Treatment Works, currently under construction.
“The Platreef Project has outstanding, near-surface exploration potential to significantly add to the project’s current nickel-rich mineral resources,” said Mr. Friedland. “To capitalize fully on Platreef’s incredible mineral endowment, we need to first secure sustainable sources of power and water.”
About Ivanhoe Mines
Ivanhoe Mines is a Canadian mining company focused on advancing its three principal projects in Southern Africa: the development of major new, mechanized, underground mines at the Kamoa-Kakula copper discoveries in the Democratic Republic of Congo and at the Platreef palladium-rhodium-platinum-nickel-copper-gold discovery in South Africa; and the extensive redevelopment and upgrading of the historic Kipushi zinc-copper-germanium-silver mine, also in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Kamoa-Kakula is the world’s fastest growing major copper mine. Kamoa-Kakula began producing copper concentrates in May 2021 and, through phased expansions, is positioned to become one of the world's largest copper producers. Kamoa-Kakula is being powered by clean, renewable hydro-generated electricity and is projected to be among the world’s lowest greenhouse gas emitters per unit of metal produced. Ivanhoe Mines has pledged to achieve net-zero operational greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 and 2) at the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Mine. Ivanhoe also is exploring for new copper discoveries on its Western Foreland exploration licences in the Democratic Republic of Congo, near the Kamoa-Kakula Project.
Investors: Bill Trenaman +1.604.331.9834 / Media: Matthew Keevil +1.604.558.1034
Cautionary statement on forward-looking information
Certain statements in this news release constitute “forward-looking statements” or “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause actual results, performance or achievements of the company, the Platreef Project, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or information. Such statements can be identified by the use of words such as “may”, “would”, “could”, “will”, “intend”, “expect”, “believe”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “scheduled”, “forecast”, “predict” and other similar terminology, or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved. These statements reflect the company’s current expectations regarding future events, performance and results, and speak only as of the date of this news release.
The forward-looking statements and forward-looking information in this news release include without limitation, (i) statements regarding initial production is expected from Platreef’s first phase of operations in Q3 2024; (ii) statements regarding plans to generate an initial 5 MW of electrical power from an adjacent solar power plant; (iii) statements regarding construction of the solar plant is set to commence next month and commissioning is expected in early 2023; and (iv) statements regarding expectations that the Platreef Mine will require approximately 8 MW of installed electrical power for its Phase 1 operations, and approximately 100 MW for its Phase 2 operations at full production.
All such forward-looking information and statements are based on certain assumptions and analyses made by Ivanhoe Mines’ management in light of their experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors management believe are appropriate in the circumstances. These statements, however, are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information or statements including, but not limited to, unexpected changes in laws, rules or regulations, or their enforcement by applicable authorities; the failure of parties to contracts to perform as agreed; social or labour unrest; changes in commodity prices; unexpected failure or inadequacy of infrastructure, industrial accidents or machinery failure (including of shaft sinking equipment), or delays in the development of infrastructure, and the failure of exploration programs or other studies to deliver anticipated results or results that would justify and support continued studies, development or operations. Other important factors that could cause actual results to differ from these forward-looking statements also include those described under the heading “Risk Factors” in the company’s most recently filed MD&A as well as in the most recent Annual Information Form filed by Ivanhoe Mines. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information or statements. Certain of the factors and assumptions used to develop the forward-looking information and statements, and certain of the risks that could cause the actual results to differ materially are presented in technical reports available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on the Ivanhoe Mines website at www.praterbody.com.
Although the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are based upon what management of the company believes are reasonable assumptions, the company cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release and are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Subject to applicable securities laws, the company does not assume any obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this news release.
The company’s actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of the factors set forth below in the “Risk Factors” section in the company’s 2021 Q4 and Year-End MD&A and its current annual information form.
南非桑頓 — 艾芬豪礦業 (TSX: IVN; OTCQX: IVPAF) 執行聯席董事長羅伯特·弗里蘭德 (Robert Friedland) 和孫玉峰（Miles Sun）今天宣布，公司位于南非的普拉特瑞夫 (Platreef) 鈀-銠-鎳-鉑-銅-金國際頂級礦山確定采用可再生的環保太陽能以及液化天然氣發電的能源方案。
2021年，南非政府正式將并網發電項目的許可上限從1 MW提升至100 MW，為礦業公司自建發電設施提供便利。
普拉特瑞夫礦山的建設工程正快速推進，預計將于2024年第三季度啟動I期投產。艾芬豪預計普拉特瑞夫礦山I期建設的裝機容量需求約30 MW，II期全面投產后電力需求將提升至約100 MW。
Ivanplats在普拉特瑞夫礦山建造首個太陽能發電廠的同時，還獲得排他性權利與南非Renergen公司磋商天然氣和太陽能混合發電廠的電力供應包銷協議?；旌习l電廠將建設在Renergen公司的弗吉尼亞 (Virginia) 天然氣項目內。該項目位于南非威特沃特斯蘭德 (Witwatersrand) 盆地，距離普拉特瑞夫礦山西南面約600公里。
Renergen是一家新興的氦氣、能源和液化天然氣 (LNG) 生產商，從事短期生產和銷售來自其弗吉尼亞天然氣項目的壓縮天然氣 (CNG) 和氦氣。弗吉尼亞天然氣項目涵蓋187,000公頃 (1,870平方公里) 氣田的勘查和生產權，橫跨南非自由州省的韋爾科姆 (Welkom)、弗吉尼亞和特尼森 (Theunissen)。
艾芬豪首次對Renergen公司1,300萬美元的股權投資，獲得Renergen已發行股份約4.35%的權益。同時，艾芬豪有權提名一名董事席位，并有權行使反稀釋權。Renergen在約翰內斯堡證券交易所 (JSE) 和南非A2X 交易所上市 (股票代碼為REN)，以及在澳大利亞證券交易所 (ASX) 上市 (股票代碼為RLT)。
艾芬豪礦業與Renergen公司高層簽字儀式。前排 (從左至右)﹕Renergen公司董事長大衛·金 (David King)、艾芬豪礦業總裁瑪娜·克洛特 (Marna Cloete)、Renergen公司首席執行官斯特凡諾·馬拉尼 (Stefano Marani)；以及后排 (從左至右)﹕ Renergen公司首席運營官尼克·米切爾 (Nick Mitchell)、艾芬豪礦業首席財務官大衛·范·希爾登 (David van Heerden)。
弗吉尼亞項目的天然氣形成，可以追溯到大約20億年前一場異常的宇宙事件，當時一顆已知最大型的小行星撞擊地球，落在南非弗里德堡 (Vredefort) 鎮附近的威特沃特斯蘭德雜巖體。
這顆巨大星體的撞擊形成了地球上面積最大的隕石坑 — 弗里德堡 (Vredefort) 隕石坑，其直徑約330公里。撞擊形成了蓋層，將地下蘊藏著巨量的鈾和釷礦物圈閉。這些放射性元素在衰變的過程中釋放出α粒子形成氦氣。
地質圖顯示弗里德堡隕石坑邊緣的 Renergen 生產和勘查權范圍 (紅圈)。
根據新包銷協議的條款，Mogalakwena當地政府同意，自項目投產后的32年間由波特希特斯的 Masodi 廢水處理廠每天供應不少于300萬公升且不多于1,000萬公升經處理的中水。Masodi 廢水處理廠的施工正在進行中。
艾芬豪礦業是一家加拿大的礦業公司，正在推進旗下位于南部非洲的三大主要項目：位于剛果民主共和國的卡莫阿-卡庫拉 (Kamoa-Kakula) 銅礦和位于南非的普拉特瑞夫鈀-銠-鉑-鎳-銅-金礦的大型機械化地下礦山開發工程；以及同樣位于剛果民主共和國、久負盛名的基普什 (Kipushi) 鋅-銅-鍺-銀礦的大型重建和改善工程。
卡莫阿-卡庫拉銅礦項目于2021年5月實現銅精礦生產，未來將分階段進行擴建，預計將會成為全球最大規模的銅生產商之一?？?/strong>-卡庫拉使用清潔、可再生的水電，并將成為世界上每單位金屬溫室氣體排放量最低的礦山之一。艾芬豪礦業已作出承諾，卡莫阿-卡庫拉銅礦將致力實現凈零運營溫室氣體排放 (范圍一和二)。同時，艾芬豪正在剛果民主共和國境內、毗鄰卡莫阿-卡庫拉項目的西部前沿 (Western Foreland) 探礦權內尋找新的銅礦資源。
投資者﹕比爾·特倫曼 (Bill Trenaman)，電話﹕+1.604.331.9834 / 媒體﹕馬修·基維爾 (Matthew Keevil)，電話﹕ +1.604.558.1034
本新聞稿載有的某些陳述可能構成適用證券法所訂議的“前瞻性陳述”或“前瞻性信息”。這些陳述及信息涉及已知和未知的風險、不明朗因素和其他因素，可能導致本公司的實際業績、表現或成就、普拉特瑞夫項目或行業的業績，與前瞻性陳述或信息所表達或暗示的任何未來業績、表現或成就產生重大差異。這些陳述可通過文中使用“可能”、“將會”、“會”、“將要”、“打算”、“預期”、“相信”、“計劃”、“預計”、“估計”、 “安排” 、“預測”、“預言”及其他類似用語，或者聲明“可能”、“會”、“將會”、“可能會”或“將要”采取、發生或實現某些行動、事件或結果進行識別。這些陳述僅反映本公司于本新聞稿發布當日對于未來事件、表現和業績的當前預期。
本新聞稿所載的前瞻性陳述及前瞻性信息包括但不限于﹕(i) 關于普拉特瑞夫I期將于2024年第三季度投產的陳述；(ii) 關于計劃在毗鄰的太陽能發電廠產生初始5 MW電力的陳述；(iii) 關于太陽能發電廠將于下月動工，預計于2023年初投產的陳述；以及 (iv) 關于普拉特瑞夫I期的裝機容量電力需求約8 MW，于II期全面投產后的電力需求約100 MW的陳述。
所有該等前瞻性信息和陳述乃基于艾芬豪礦業管理層就他們的經驗和對于過往趨勢、目前條件和預期未來發展的看法，以及管理層在此情況下認為恰當的其他因素而作出的某些假設和分析。然而，這些陳述涉及不同風險和不明朗因素以及其他因素，可能導致實際事件或業績與前瞻性信息或陳述所預測的有重大差異，包括但不限于有關部門實施的法例、法規或規章或其無法預計的修訂、合約各方未能根據協議履行合約、社會或勞資糾紛、商品價格的變動、基礎設施出現無法預計的故障或設施不足、工業事故或機械故障(包括豎井鑿井設備)、或延遲開發基礎設施；以及勘探計劃或其他研究未能達到預期結果或用作證明和支持繼續研究、開發或運營的結果?？赡軐е聦嶋H業績與前瞻性陳述有差異的其他重要因素包括本公司最近提交的管理層討論與分析報告內以及公司最近提交的周年信息報告內“風險因素”部分所指的因素。讀者請注意不應過度依賴前瞻性信息或陳述。用作編撰前瞻性信息和陳述的某些因素和假設，以及可能導致實際業績產生重大差異的某些風險均載于SEDAR (www.sedar.com) 及艾芬豪礦業網站(www.praterbody.com) 內的技術報告。