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Osborne Copper Gold Project

Ivanhoe Australia Limited’s Osborne Copper Gold Project (Ivanhoe) is located in northwest Queensland, approximately 50 km south of Ivanhoe’s existing Merlin (Cu/Mo) and Mt Elliot (Cu) deposits.

Ivanhoe acquired the Osborne Copper Gold Project in September 2010 from Barrick Gold Corporation. Subsequently, Ivanhoe was renamed Inova Resources in 2012, and Inova was acquired by Shanxi Donghui Coal Coking and Chemicals Group Co. Ltd to form Chinova Resources in 2013.

The project has been in operation since 1995, having originally started with Placer’s Osborne mine, and now includes the nearby Selwyn operations. The project area consists of several copper-gold deposits at various stages of development and a processing plant.

The mineralisation is characterised as belonging to the iron-oxide-copper-gold (IOCG) class of deposits.

In 2011, Ivanhoe commissioned SRK to complete a review of the Osborne Copper Gold Project Study, which demonstrated the economic viability of the project. First production from the Osborne underground deposit was achieved in February 2012 and the first copper shipment made in June 2012.

Following the successful completion of the review, Ivanhoe requested that SRK complete a Mineral Reserve Estimate and NI 43-101 Technical Report for three of the deposits within the Osborne Copper Gold Project. The project was split into two areas—Osborne/Kulthor and Starra 276— with two separate NI 43-101 Technical Reports commissioned.

Ivanhoe commissioned geological consultants who were familiar with the orebodies to complete the geology reports, and SRK incorporated these reports into the Technical Reports. The geology consultants conferred with SRK to ensure that the reports remained technically unchanged, and they were satisfied to sign off as the Qualified Person for the relevant sections.

SRK personnel made site visits in both 2011 and 2012, which proved invaluable in terms of understanding the interactions between the deposits and what had been mined to date. A site visit undertaken partway through the development of the Mineral Reserve provided the opportunity to discuss the designs with the site personnel, allowing us to collect feedback pertaining to any significant issues with the designs. This interaction resulted in some changes to the designs, a better understanding of the deposits, and information about the progress that had been achieved in mining the deposits. These updates ultimately resulted in a design that the site engineers could use as a basis for the detailed designs.

Once the Technical Reports were completed, and during the 45-day period from the announcement to filing of the Technical Reports, Ivanhoe and Ivanhoe’s legal advisors conducted a series of reviews. These reviews resulted in updates to the reports and final liaison with the Qualified Persons for sign-off prior to filing the Technical Reports.

SRK thanks Ivanhoe for permission to publish this article and for supplying the accompanying pictures.

Anne-Marie Ebbels:

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