Ivanhoe signs strategic partnership with China’s CNMC for mining, smelting deals in Africa

Ivanhoe signs strategic partnership with China’s CNMC for mining, smelting deals in Africa

Robert Friedland, CEO of Ivanhoe Mines speaks at the Melbourne Mining Club Luncheon in Melbourne, Australia on Thursday, Dec 1, 2011. Photographer: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg

IVANHOE Mines has announced an agreement with China Nonferrous Metal Mining Group (CNMC) to jointly look for African mining projects, said Reuters citing an announcement by the Canadian mining firm.

Robert Friedland, Ivanhoe’s colourful founder and his co-chairman at the company, Yufeng Sun, signed the strategic partnership that will see both companies exploring production, smelting and logistics opportunities in the continent. Both Ivanhoe and CNMC are active in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), said Reuters.

Friedland hinted at possible mergers arising from the agreement with CNMC, saying the partnership would begin by “… examining the synergies between the operations currently owned by our two companies”.

CNMC Chairman Wang Tongzhou said: “I strongly believe that cooperation is the best way to achieving the goals of both companies.”

Ivanhoe has previously said it is in talks with companies over its Kipushi and Western Forelands projects in the DRC, and its Platreef project in South Africa.

CNMC in January launched Congo’s first large-scale copper smelter, the Lualaba Copper Smelter, 45km from Ivanhoe’s Kamoa-Kakula copper joint venture with Zijin Mining in the country’s southern copperbelt, said Reuters.

CNMC is also the majority owner of Deziwa copper and cobalt mine and processing plant, a joint venture with Congo’s state mining company Gécamines which started producing in January, the newswire said.

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