News Article | May 9, 2017
Every two minutes, a child will die from malaria in Africa. It is a preventable, treatable disease, that each year affects approximately 200 million people globally. Of those, more than 90 per cent of cases will stem from Sub-Saharan Africa--a region rife with the most dangerous of malaria pathogens and the mosquito most likely to transfer it. The young are particularly vulnerable to the disease with nearly 70 per cent of all deaths occurring in children under the age of five. Malaria is a global killer and a world health concern. But while millions of dollars are spent each year searching for innovative health solutions, new research from the University of Alberta suggests part of the answer may begin with mothers in the classroom. The study, published in the journal Pathogens and Global Health, found that maternal education can act as a 'social vaccine' for childhood malaria infection. Researchers from the U of A and the Université Catholique du Graben tested 647 children in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) between the ages of two months and five years of age. The researchers also had the children's parent or guardian fill out a survey related to demographics, socioeconomic status, maternal education, bed net use and recent illness involving fever. The team determined that among the participants, the higher a mother's education, the lesser chance of their child being infected with malaria. "This was not a small effect. Maternal education had an enormous effect--equivalent to or greater than the leading biomedical vaccine against malaria," says Michael Hawkes, senior author and assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Alberta. One hundred and twenty-three out of the 647 children in the study tested positive for malaria. The prevalence of malaria in children of mothers with no education was 30 per cent. If mothers had received primary education, that rate dipped to 17 per cent. Mothers who had received education beyond primary school only had a 15 per cent prevalence of malaria in their young children. "It doesn't take a lot of education to teach a mom how to take simple precautions to prevent malaria in her child. All it takes is knowing the importance of using a bed net and knowing the importance of seeking care when your child has a fever," says Cary Ma, a medical student at the U of A and a study co-author. "These are fairly straight forward, simple messages in the context of health and hygiene that can easily be conveyed, usually at an elementary or primary school level." "The World Health Organization is rolling out a new vaccine in countries across Africa that has an efficacy of about 30 per cent," adds Hawkes. "But children whose mothers are educated beyond the primary level have a 53 per cent reduction in their malaria rates. So educating the mom has as profound an effect on childhood malaria as hundreds of millions of dollars spent on a vaccine." The researchers say their work builds upon previous studies that have shown the importance of maternal education in reducing child mortality and disease in other countries around the world. They believe it is particularly relevant in the DRC--a country beset by war since 1996. The Democratic Republic of Congo has been called the least feasible country for malaria elimination in the world, due to an entrenched malaria ecology and a prolonged military conflict which has severely damaged the nation's health care and educational infrastructure. "In that context, we've got an intervention here, educating the women, that I think no one will disagree with. It's easy and it works," says Hawkes. While the researchers says maternal education isn't a magic bullet by itself, they do believe it is part of the solution. They now hope the lessons learned can help lead policymakers to strengthen efforts to educate girls and women in the DRC and other malaria hotspots around the world.
News Article | May 11, 2017
Synopsys, Inc. (Nasdaq: SNPS) today announced that its IC Validator was successfully deployed on some of the industry's largest and most advanced designs to accelerate design rule checking (DRC) closure. Through near-linear distributed processing and efficient resource management, IC Validator delivers industry-leading turnaround time, enabling physical signoff within hours on designs with 10 billion+ transistors. Technology advancements in the latest releases of IC Validator reduce both memory and disk usage requirements by 2x. This significant improvement in resource efficiency enables excellent performance scaling to several hundreds of CPUs by taking advantage of the smaller and more readily available machines in the customers' existing compute farms. "Increasing manufacturing complexity at advanced nodes makes it challenging for customers to complete physical signoff within schedule," said Bijan Kiani, vice president, product marketing, Design Group at Synopsys. "Through high-performance scalability and readily available, optimized runsets from all major foundries, IC Validator is providing our customers with the fastest path to production silicon." IC Validator, part of the Synopsys Digital Design Platform, is a comprehensive and highly scalable physical signoff solution including DRC, LVS, programmable electrical rule checks (ERC), dummy fill and DFM enhancement. IC Validator is configured for today's extremely large designs by enabling 8 CPUs with a single license. It uses both multi-threading and distributed processing over multiple machines to provide near linear scalability benefits that extend to several hundreds of CPUs. IC Validator enables coding at higher levels of abstraction and is architected for scalability to maximize utilization of mainstream hardware, using smart memory-aware load scheduling and balancing technologies. IC Validator is a companion product to Synopsys IC Compiler™ II In-Design physical signoff. In-Design allows place-and-route engineers to perform independent signoff-quality analysis earlier, before the design is finalized and while correction can be automated. In-Design technology enables new high-productivity functionality within the place-and-route environment, including automatic DRC repair, improved timing quality-of-result with timing-aware metal fill, and rapid ECO validation. In-Design physical signoff eliminates expensive iterations with downstream analysis tools and maintains a convergent design flow to physical signoff. Synopsys, Inc. (Nasdaq: SNPS) is the Silicon to Software™ partner for innovative companies developing the electronic products and software applications we rely on every day. As the world's 15th largest software company, Synopsys has a long history of being a global leader in electronic design automation (EDA) and semiconductor IP and is also growing its leadership in software security and quality solutions. Whether you're a system-on-chip (SoC) designer creating advanced semiconductors, or a software developer writing applications that require the highest security and quality, Synopsys has the solutions needed to deliver innovative, high-quality, secure products. Learn more at www.synopsys.com. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/synopsys-ic-validator-physical-signoff-verifies-10-billion-transistors-within-hours-300455920.html
News Article | May 10, 2017
A park ranger was killed and two conservation workers were briefly abducted when bandits ambushed a convoy of rangers from the Itombwe reserve in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Anselme Matabaro, an ICCN staff member and deputy chief of the Itombwe reserve was seriously injured in the attack on 5 May in eastern Congo and has since died. The bandits attacked and abducted the rangers, including representatives from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and World Wildlife Fund, as they travelled from Mwenga in South Kivu. The driver of the convoy was shot in the hand, according to the Congo Basin Forest Partnership. Most of the group were released hours later. A French national working for WCS was released on 8 May, Cosmo Wilungula, director general of the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature, told Reuters. He said they had demanded $25,000 (£19,300) for the Frenchman. “We can confirm that on 5 May a group of conservation workers in DRC were the victims of an armed attack. We are only now able to confirm events,” said a spokesperson from WWF. “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mr Matabaro. As investigations are ongoing, the authorities have our full support in their attempts to bring the perpetrators to justice,” they added. Itombwe reserve is the largest mountainous forest in Africa. It is home to forest elephants, chimpanzees and critically endangered Grauer’s gorilla, the world’s largest great ape. An area of 15,000 sq km became a nature reserve in 2006, in which all human activity was prohibited, but it has been under constant threat of logging, mining and hunting. Years of conflict in the region have also brought armed groups to the mountains, who live off the illegal exploitation of natural resources – coltan and cassiterite and even diamonds. Kidnappings by armed rebel groups have increased in recent years. At least 175 people were held for ransom in eastern Congo in 2015, according to Human Rights Watch. Instability and conflict not only affects the wildlife but those trying to protect it. Conservation areas across the country have been plagued by violence against rangers – two park rangers were killed by poachers in DRC’s Garamba national park just last month. Across the world on average two to three rangers die each week in the field. More than 1,000 have been killed in the last decade, according to the Thin Green Line Foundation. “We are becoming accustomed to this sad reality. But we need the world community’s support to help provide training and equipment to prevent deaths and to support families left behind,” Sean Willmore, the foundation’s director, told the Guardian.
News Article | May 13, 2017
The Minister of Public Health of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) informed the World Health Organization (WHO) of another Ebola virus outbreak in northern DRC. WHO has already deployed an investigation team to the affected area. WHO was informed of the latest Ebola outbreak in DRC on Friday, May 12, courtesy of DRC's Minister of Public Health, Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga. The said outbreak affects the Nambwa health district in the province of Bas-Uélé. Starting from April 22, nine suspected Ebola cases have been reported, including three deaths and the six other still hospitalized. WHO was informed of the suspicious cases, which were confirmed on May 11, when National Biomedical Research Institute informed authorities that one out of five blood samples returned positive for Ebola. As of May 11, the fatality rate for this outbreak is at 33.3 percent. WHO was quick to respond to the outbreak as they are currently working hand in hand with the local authorities to prevent the further spread of the disease. An investigative team with epidemiologists, biologists, and other experts have already been deployed to the region. "The WHO Country Office in the DRC is working closely with the national and provincial authorities and with the WHO Regional Office for Africa, WHO headquarters in Geneva and all other partners to facilitate deployment of health workers and protective kits in the field to strengthen epidemiological surveillance and rapidly control the outbreak," said Dr. Yokouidé Allarangar, DRC's WHO representative. The current outbreak, despite being described as a small one, is DRC's eighth Ebola outbreak since 1976, when Ebola took 280 lives from the country. The last outbreak before the current one was between August and November in 2014, claiming 49 lives. Previously known as the Ebola haemorrhagic fever, Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a deadly and rare disease that is caused by one of five different strains of the Ebola virus: Zaire ebolavirus, Sudan ebolavirus, Tai Forest ebolavirus, Bundibugyo ebolavirus, and Reston virus. Among these, Reston is the only one not yet known to affect humans. The disease was first recorded in 1976 near the Ebola River, in a place that is now DRC. Various places in Africa have since sporadically experienced Ebola clusters and outbreaks. Though the host of the Ebola virus is still unknown, some experts believe that perhaps the virus is animal-borne, and that the likeliest hosts are bats. The virus cannot be transmitted through air, water, or through casual contact with an infected person. Further, a person with Ebola is only contagious after symptoms begin to show. Though an Ebola vaccine has been successfully administered in Guinea, it only works on one Ebola subtype, and people also reported adverse side effects to the vaccine. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
News Article | May 12, 2017
Ebola has surfaced in a remote part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the first outbreak of the disease since the West African epidemic that killed more than 11,000 people before it came to an end 2 years ago. A vaccine proved its worth in the West African epidemic—which hit major cities—but it still is awaiting approval from regulatory agencies, and the DRC government has yet to request its use for this outbreak. According to a statement issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) today, nine suspected cases have been reported so far, and only one has been confirmed as Ebola. Three of the people have died. The outbreak began 22 April in the Likati Health Zone of the Bas Uele Province, which is in the northern region of the DRC that borders the Central African Republic. WHO notes that it “was informed” about the cluster of cases 9 May and the confirmation of the one case occurred 2 days later. The Washington Post reports that the confirmed case, the first victim, had to travel by motorbike across the large province to reach a hospital in Likati and that it took 10 days for his blood sample to reach Kinshasa. DRC has no roads that span the country and long-distance travel largely is restricted to river boats and private airplanes. Marie-Paule Kieney, an assistant director general at WHO who played a central role during the West African epidemic, says Merck, the maker of the vaccine that appeared to work in a trial held in Guinea in 2015, is ready to provide the product if necessary. “Discussions are ongoing with the government on whether vaccination should be undertaken or not,” Kieney says. “The outbreak is very small, so it may be stopped through containment only.” Traditional “containment” efforts include isolating and confirming cases, providing protective gear for health care workers, using safe burial procedures, and educating the public about how to reduce their risks. One person helping with the response who asked not to be identified said there are now 52 suspected cases—and deep frustration that a decision has yet to be made about whether to use the vaccine. “If it were up to me I’d already be using it,” the person says. “It’s hard to dream up a rationale for not using the vaccine as quickly as possible.” Doctors Without Borders (MSF)— which led the initial health care response in West Africa—tomorrow plans to send 14 people to Likati, including doctors, nurses, logisticians, water and sanitation experts, health promoters, and an epidemiologist. An MSF statement explains that they will be joined by 10 people from the DRC’s Ministry of Health as well 15 tons of medical and logistical supplies sent by cargo plane from Kinshasa. A spokesperson did not know whether MSF had requested the vaccine for its team. Plenty of the Merck vaccine exists, though its experimental status would require what’s known as an “Expanded Access” study protocol to be approved by regulatory bodies before it could be shipped to the DRC. WHO has some 10,000 doses in Geneva, Switzerland, leftover from the West Africa outbreak, sources tell Insider, and Merck has some 700,000 doses on ice in the United States. At a meeting 25–27 April by WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE), the experts recommended that the Merck vaccine “be promptly deployed” if the strain known as Ebola Zaire—which is the virus in the DRC—surfaces. SAGE further suggested that Expanded Access study “be implemented promptly after the confirmation of a case” and that the vaccine be used in the same “ring vaccination” strategy that worked in Guinea, which gave shots to people (including health care workers) who were in close contact with each confirmed case. The first documented Ebola outbreak, which occurred in 1976, hit Yambuku in the DRC. The country since has had six other outbreaks, and the worst one was contained with only 315 cases of the highly lethal disease.
News Article | May 11, 2017
News Article | May 11, 2017
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - May 11, 2017) - NOT FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES OR TO UNITED STATES NEWSWIRE SERVICES EnerGulf Resources Inc. (TSX VENTURE:ENG)(FRANKFURT:EKS) ("EnerGulf" or the "Company") is pleased to provide the following corporate update. The Company has executed a term sheet to acquire an additional 20% interest in the Selectron Shallow and Canoe Prospects in the Gulf of Mexico, and amended its prior letter of intent in respect of the acquisition of those prospects (the "Transaction"). Furthermore, subject to required approvals, EnerGulf will undergo a consolidation of its outstanding securities on a 5 for 1 basis (the "Consolidation"), intends to complete a private placement of units for gross proceeds of up to CAD$5,000,000 at a post-Consolidation price of CAD$0.10 per unit (the "Private Placement") and has reached agreements to settle an aggregate total CAD$738,514 in debt by the issuance of units of the company at a deemed post-Consolidation price of CAD$0.10 per unit (the "Debt Settlement"). The Company announced on June 9, 2016, that it had entered into a letter of intent ("LOI") with Texas South Energy, Inc. (OTCBB:TXSO) ("Texas South") to acquire, through a series of payments, a 43.75% working interest in Block 378, Vermilion Area, South Addition ("Canoe Prospect") and Block 375, Vermilion Area, South Addition ("Selectron Shallow Prospect") and, by making additional payments, acquire 25% working interest in four sub salt prospects. As additional consideration, EnerGulf had agreed to issue 7,000,000 warrants to Texas South (the "LOI Warrants"). On March 23, 2017, the Company and Texas South entered into an amended letter of intent (the "Amended LOI"), replacing and superseding the Company's prior LOI. Under the terms of the Amended LOI, the parties agree that EnerGulf has paid for and, subject to (i) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management ("BOEM") approval, and (ii) the execution of definitive agreements, owns the right to the assignment of a 16.8% working interest in the Canoe and the Selectron Shallow Prospects. Upon approval of the assignment of interest from the BOEM the Company is required to purchase the seismic licenses for the Canoe and Selectron Shallow blocks for a cost of US$50,000 each. For the first two wells, the Company will pay 29.3% of the costs for its 16.8% working interest. For future wells, the Company will pay 16.8% of the costs for 16.8% of the revenues. The Company will be responsible for 66.6% of annual rent (US$63,147/yr) and 46.1% of permitting, insurance, and bonding for the Canoe and Selectron Shallow Prospects. The Company is obligated to pay its share of expenses for its 16.8% interest in the Canoe and Selectron Shallow Prospects, however the Company has no further investment obligations relative to either the Canoe or Selectron Shallow Prospects under the Amended LOI. The Company has made payments totaling US$400,000 towards the acquisition of its interest in the Canoe and Selectron Shallow Prospects. Pursuant to the terms of the Amended LOI, EnerGulf is no longer obligated to issue the LOI Warrants to Texas South and no has no interest in or had any obligation to make any payments on the four sub salt prospects. The Amended LOI is subject to the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange (the "Exchange"). Gulf of Mexico - Acquisition of Additional Interest in Canoe and Selectron Shallow Prospects On April 30, 2017, the Company and HTX Resources LLC ("HTX") entered into a term sheet (the "Term Sheet") wherein the Company agreed to take assignment of HTX's right to acquire up to a 20% interest in each of the Canoe and Selectron Shallow Prospects (the "Rights") from Texas South pursuant to a letter of intent between HTX and Texas South dated April 3, 2017 (the "Underlying Agreement"). As consideration for the Rights, EnerGulf will pay US$400,000 by May 31, 2017 and issue 2,000,000 post-Consolidation units of the Company (each a "Transaction Unit") at a deemed price of CAD$0.10 (post-Consolidation) per Transaction Unit. Each Transaction Unit will be comprised of one common share of the Company and one half warrant one common share purchase warrant (each whole such warrant a "Transaction Warrant"). Each Transaction Warrant will entitle the holder to acquire one common share of the Company for a period of two years at a price of CAD$0.15 (post-Consolidation). The Rights set out in the Underlying Agreement grant HTX the right to acquire up to a 20% working interest in each of the Canoe and Selectron Shallow Prospects from Texas South in consideration of US$10,000 per one percent (US$200,000 for the 20%) until the earlier of (i) August 31, 2017 and (ii) 30 days from notification of permitting activities at the Canoe Prospect by Gulfslope Energy, Inc. ("Gulfslope"), operator of both the Selectron Shallow and Canoe Prospects. Following completion of the Transaction and on exercise of the Rights the Company will become obligated to fund up to 22.86% (1.143% for each 1% interest acquired) of exploration expenditures incurred in respect of the Selectron Shallow and Canoe Prospects, or have its interest subject to dilution on a straight-line basis. The acquired 20% interest will have a 77.25% Net Revenue Interest, net of a mandatory 18.75% royalty in favour of the United States Department of the Interior and a 4% royalty in favour of HTX. In addition, the Company will reimburse HTX US$12,630 in rent paid on the Canoe and Selectron Shallow Prospects. The Term Sheet is subject to the approval of the Exchange. On completion of the Transaction, the Company's combined interest in the Canoe and Selectron Shallow Prospects will be a 36.8% working interest with a 79.08% Net Revenue Interest. For the first two wells, the Company will pay 52.16% of the costs to earn its 36.8% interest. After the first two wells, the Company will pay 36.8% of costs to earn its 36.8% interest. EnerGulf will have the benefit of 79.08% of the revenues associated with its working interest. On June 29, 2016, the Company announced that it had entered into an agreement with Carrelton Asset Management, Carrelton Horizon Fund, and others (the "Lenders") for a bridge loan in the amount of US$220,000, including a $20,000 commitment fee (the "Loan"). Pursuant to the Loan agreement, the Company was obligated to pay either a cash bonus of US$30,000 or issue the Lenders a warrant to purchase 3,000,000 common shares of EnerGulf at a price of CAD$0.05 per share (pre-Consolidation). On December 7, 2016, the Company and the Lenders entered into amended and restated Loan agreement wherein the principal amount of the Loan was increased to US$240,000, inclusive of a cumulative commitment fee of USD$30,000 and additional Loan proceeds of USD$10,000 (the "Amended Loan"), and pursuant to which the Amended Loan became due and payable May 31, 2017. Pursuant to the Amended Loan agreement, the Company became obligated to pay the Lenders an additional cash fee of US$30,000 or issue a warrant to purchase 3,283,582 common shares of EnerGulf at a price of CAD$0.05 per share (pre-Consolidation). The Amended Loan remain subject to the approval of the Exchange. The Company's Board of Directors has determined to consolidate the Company's issued share capital on a ratio of one (1) new post-Consolidation common share for every five (5) old pre-Consolidation common shares. There are currently 99,319,960 common shares outstanding, and following the Consolidation there will be approximately 19,863,992 shares outstanding. The Board of Directors determined the Consolidation is necessary in order for the Company to raise additional capital and pursue the opportunities described above. The Consolidation remains subject to the acceptance of the Exchange. EnerGulf also proposes to conduct the Private Placement of up to CAD$5,000,000, consisting of up to 50,000,000 units at a price of CAD$0.10 (post-Consolidation) per unit (each a "Placement Unit"). Each Placement Unit will consist of one common share of the Company and one common share purchase warrant (a "Placement Warrant"). Each Placement Warrant will entitle the holder to purchase an additional common share of the Company at a price of CAD$0.20 (post-Consolidation) for a period of 24 months after the date of issuance of the Placement Warrant. On closing of the Private Placement, the Company may pay finder's fees in accordance with the policies of the Exchange. EnerGulf intends to use the proceeds of the Private Placement to settle outstanding liabilities, for payments in connection with the acquisition and development of its Gulf of Mexico oil and gas projects and for general corporate purposes. The Company further announces that it has reached an understanding with certain of its creditors holding an aggregate CAD$738,514 in Company debt (the "Debt") to settle such Debt in exchange for (i) 6,535,140 post-Consolidation units of the Company (the "Debt Settlement Units") at a deemed price of $0.10 per Debt Settlement Unit and (ii) 850,000 common shares at a deemed price of $0.10 per common share. Each Debt Settlement Unit will be comprised of one common share of the Company and one common share purchase warrant (a "Debt Settlement Warrant"). Each Debt Settlement Warrant will entitle the holder to purchase an additional common share of the Company at a price of CAD$0.20 (post-Consolidation) for a period of 24 months after the date of issuance of the Debt Settlement Warrant. The Private Placement and Debt Settlement are subject to Exchange approval - all securities issued in connection therewith shall be subject to a four month and one day hold period. All resolutions were approved at the Company's Annual General and Special Meeting on December 15, 2016: (i) electing Ernie Miller, Clive Brookes, Jeff Greenblum and Don Wilson to the Board of Directors, (ii) reappointing Dale Matheson Carr-Hilton Labonte LLP as the Company's auditors and (iii) approving certain amendments to the Company's stock option plan. EnerGulf is awaiting the 3D program required of the operator and remains committed to the prospective block. The Company's Lotshi Block Production Sharing Contract with the government of the DRC (the "PSC") expired in February of 2016 - EnerGulf is currently in discussions to negotiate an extension of the PSC. The Company remains committed to the DRC and the Lotshi Block's potential in the face of current industry difficulties. EnerGulf has been issued a Production Sharing Agreement for certain Block 8 hydrocarbon licenses as well as an exploration license and two operations licenses in respect of certain chromite exploration assets, each in the Republic of Albania (the "Albanian Assets"). The Company is currently in default of certain payment obligations in respect of the Albanian Assets, and is evaluating the Albanian Assets' role in the Company's corporate and exploration strategy going forward. EnerGulf is a publicly traded international oil and gas exploration company with property interests located in the Gulf of Mexico, Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Namibia and the Republic of Albania. On Behalf of the Board of EnerGulf Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This release may include certain forward-looking information and statements, as defined by law including without limitation Canadian securities laws and the "safe harbor" provisions of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 ("forward-looking statements"). In particular, and without limitation this news release contains forward-looking statements respecting the Transaction; the Company's intention to seek an extension of the Lotshi Block Production Sharing Contract; completion of the proposed Debt Settlement; completion of the Consolidation; completion of the proposed Private Placement; the future prospects for the Company; management's beliefs, assumptions and expectations; and general business and economic conditions. Forward-looking statements are based on a number of assumptions that may prove to be incorrect, including without limitation assumptions about the following: Texas South's ability to complete the acquisition of certain drilling rights to concerning the Canoe and the Selectron Prospects from Gulfslope; the ability by EnerGulf to thereafter complete a definitive agreement with Texas South; the time frame within which a development strategy will be determined for Block 8 and chromite exploration assets in the Republic of Albania, and the associated costs, permitting, and other requirements being met, if at all; the expectation that the DRC will be willing to entertain negotiations as to the extension of the Lotshi Block and that an extension can be agreed upon on terms that are acceptable to EnerGulf; the Company's ability to raise sufficient capital to carry out its goals and objectives; changes in the business or prospects of the company; unforeseen circumstances; general business and economic conditions, including those impacting the oil and gas industry and the global economy as a whole; and ongoing relations with employees, consultants, partners and joint venturers. The foregoing list is not exhaustive and we undertake no obligation to update any of the foregoing except as required by law.
News Article | May 11, 2017
The start of early-works construction for the main production shaft at the Platreef platinum-group metals mine in South Africa highlights Ivanhoe's achievements in a busy first quarter TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 11, 2017) - Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN)(OTCQX:IVPAF) today announced its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017. All figures are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise stated. Ivanhoe Mines is a Canadian mining company focused on advancing its three mine-development projects in Sub-Saharan Africa: the Platreef platinum-palladium-gold-nickel-copper discovery in South Africa; and the Kamoa-Kakula copper discovery and the Kipushi zinc-copper-lead-germanium mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Platreef Project is owned by Ivanplats (Pty) Ltd., which is 64%-owned by Ivanhoe Mines. A 26% interest is held by Ivanplats' historically-disadvantaged broad-based, black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) partners, which include 20 local host communities with a total of approximately 150,000 people, project employees and local entrepreneurs. In January 2017, Ivanplats reconfirmed its Level 3 status in its third verification assessment on a B-BBEE scorecard. A Japanese consortium of ITOCHU Corporation and its affiliate, ITC Platinum, plus Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation and JGC Corporation, owns a 10% interest in Ivanplats, which it acquired in two tranches for a total investment of $290 million. The Platreef Project hosts an underground deposit of thick, platinum-group metals, nickel, copper and gold mineralization in the Northern Limb of the Bushveld Igneous Complex, approximately 280 kilometres northeast of Johannesburg and eight kilometres from the town of Mokopane in Limpopo Province. On the Northern Limb, platinum-group metals mineralization is hosted primarily within the Platreef, a mineralized sequence that is traced more than 30 kilometres along strike. Ivanhoe's Platreef Project, within the Platreef's southern sector, is comprised of three contiguous properties: Turfspruit, Macalacaskop and Rietfontein. Turfspruit, the northernmost property, is contiguous with, and along strike from, Anglo Platinum's Mogalakwena group of mining operations and properties. Since 2007, Ivanhoe has focused its exploration and development activities on defining and advancing the down-dip extension of its original discovery at Platreef, now known as the Flatreef Deposit, which is amenable to highly mechanized, underground mining methods. The Flatreef area lies entirely on the Turfspruit and Macalacaskop properties, which form part of the company's mining right. The Platreef Project reached a total of 7,121,029 million hours and 16,055 lost-time injury-free hours worked in terms of the Mines Health and Safety Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act of South Africa by the end of March 2017. Two medical treatment cases and two lost-time-accidents occurred during the first quarter of 2017. The Platreef Project continues to strive toward its workplace objective of an environment that causes zero harm to any employees, contractors, sub-contractors and consultants. Shaft 1, with an internal diameter of 7.25 metres, will provide access to the Flatreef Deposit and enable the initial underground capital development to take place during the development of Shaft 2 and ultimately will become the primary ventilation intake shaft during the project's four Mtpa production case. Following the successful commissioning of the stage and kibble winders and ancillary equipment, the permanent sinking phase started in July 2016. The initial sinking phase was completed to 107 metres below surface and the main sinking phase has been initiated. Shaft 1 had reached a depth of 346 metres below surface as of May 8, 2017. An average sinking rate of 45 metres per month is expected during the main sinking phase. The shaft includes a 300-millimetre concrete lined shaft wall. The main sinking phase is expected to reach its projected, final depth of 980 metres below surface in 2018. Shaft stations to provide access to horizontal mine workings for personnel, materials, pump stations and services will be developed at depths of 450, 750, 850 and 950 metres below surface. Figure 2: Members of the Platreef sinking team underground in Shaft 1, which was at a depth of 346 metres below surface on May 8, 2017: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/1094410-F2.pdf Shaft 2 will be located approximately 100 metres northeast of Shaft 1. Shaft 2, with an internal diameter of 10 metres, will be lined with concrete and sunk to a planned, final depth of more than 1,100 metres below surface. It will be equipped with two 40-tonne rock-hoisting skips with a capacity to hoist a total of six million tonnes of ore a year - which will be the single largest hoisting capacity at any mine in Africa. The headgear for the permanent hoisting facility was designed by South Africa-based Murray & Roberts Cementation. The early works for Shaft 2 will include the excavation of a surface box cut to a depth of approximately 29 metres below surface and the construction of the concrete hitch (foundation) for the 103-metre-tall concrete headgear (headframe) that will house the shaft's permanent hoisting facilities and support the shaft collar. The early works are planned to commence in Q2 2017 and will take approximately 12 months to complete. Figure 3: Illustration shows two perspectives of Shaft 2's 103-metre-tall concrete headgear, the hitch (foundation) and internal permanent hoisting facilities: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/1094410-F3.pdf Ivanhoe plans to develop the Platreef Mine in phases. The initial annual rate of four million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) is designed to establish an operating platform to support future expansions. This is expected to be followed by a potential doubling of production to eight Mtpa; and then a third expansion phase to a steady-state 12 Mtpa, which would establish Platreef among the largest platinum-group-metals mines in the world. Ivanhoe has made good progress on advancing the feasibility study of the first phase of development of the Platreef Mine. The study, which began in August 2015, is being prepared by principal consultant DRA Global, with specialized sub-consultants including Stantec Consulting, Murray & Roberts Cementation, SRK Consulting, Golder Associates and Digby Wells Environmental. The study is planned for completion in Q2 2017. Metallurgical testwork has focused on maximizing the recovery of platinum-group metals and base metals, also while producing an acceptably high-grade concentrate grade for sale to third parties. The three main geo-metallurgical units and composites have produced concentrate grades of approximately 85 to 110 grams per tonne platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold (3PE+gold) at good platinum-group-elements (PGE) recoveries (86% to 88% 3PE+gold). Comminution and flotation testwork has demonstrated that the optimum grind size of 80% passing 75 micrometres, in one stage of milling is sufficient to achieve the PGE recoveries referred to above. This simplifies the circuit and should enable Ivanhoe to optimize the capital and operating cost of the concentrator. The flow sheet for phase one comprises a four Mtpa, three-stage crushing circuit, which will feed into two parallel milling-flotation modules, each with a capacity of two million tonnes per year. Flotation is followed by a four Mtpa tailings-handling and concentrate-thickening, filtration and storage circuit. The selected mining areas in the current mine plan occur at depths ranging from approximately 700 metres to 1,200 metres below surface. The main access to the Flatreef Deposit and ventilation system is expected to be through four vertical shafts: 1, 2, 3 and 4. Shaft 2 will host the main personnel transport cage, and the material and ore-handling system; shafts 1, 3 and 4 will provide ventilation to the underground workings. Shaft 1, now under development, also will be used for initial access to the deposit and early underground development. The planned mining will incorporate low-cost, mechanized mining methods, including long-hole stoping and drift-and-fill mining. Mined-out areas will be backfilled with a mixture of tailings from the processing plant and cement. The ore will be hauled from the stopes to a series of ore passes that will connect to a main haulage level at Shaft 2, from where it will be hoisted to the surface for processing. The Olifants River Water Resource Development Project (ORWRDP) is designed to deliver water to the Eastern and Northern limbs of South Africa's Bushveld Complex. The project consists of the new De Hoop Dam, the raised wall of the Flag Boshielo Dam and related pipeline infrastructure that ultimately is expected to deliver water to Pruissen, southeast of the Northern Limb. The Pruissen Pipeline Project is expected to be developed to deliver water onward from Pruissen to the municipalities, communities and mining projects on the Northern Limb. Ivanhoe is a member of the ORWRDP's Joint Water Forum. The Platreef Project's water requirement for the first phase of development is projected to peak at approximately 10 million litres per day, which is expected to be supplied by the water network. Ivanhoe also is investigating various alternative sources of bulk water, including an allocation of bulk grey-water from a local source. The Platreef Project's electricity requirement for a four Mtpa underground mine, concentrator and associated infrastructure has been estimated at approximately 100 million volt-amperes. An agreement has been reached with Eskom, the South African public electricity utility, for the supply of phase-one power. Ivanhoe chose a self-build option for permanent power that will enable the company to manage the construction of the distribution lines from Eskom's Burutho sub-station to the Platreef Mine. The self-build and electrical supply agreements are being formulated. First phase of the relocation of informal graves completed; second phase underway On February 2, 2017, a South African judge issued a ruling in favour of Ivanplats clearing the way for the company to proceed with the relocation of informal graves in the vicinity of its Platreef Mine development project. A total of 75 informal graves were successfully relocated from land outside the perimeter of the active mine development site to new burial plots in a formal cemetery. An additional 19 locations were investigated and found not to contain human remains. The Ivanplats support program included assistance in providing new burial plots in a formal cemetery, tombstones and related services. Ivanplats plans to relocate an estimated 27 additional informal graves as part of the second phase of its relocation program after the permits for the exhumations and reburials have been received. Further phases on peripheral infrastructure areas also are planned. The relocation of remaining informal graves will not impact the development of the Platreef Project. The Kipushi copper-zinc-germanium-lead mine in the DRC is adjacent to the town of Kipushi and approximately 30 kilometres southwest of Lubumbashi. It is located on the Central African Copperbelt, approximately 250 kilometres southeast of the Kamoa-Kakula Project and less than one kilometre from the Zambian border. Ivanhoe acquired its 68% interest in the Kipushi Project in November 2011; the balance of 32% is held by the state-owned mining company, La Générale des Carrières et des Mines (Gécamines). The Kipushi Project achieved a total of 5,321,941 work hours free of lost-time injuries, equivalent to 1,694 days, to the end of Q1 2017. Malaria remains the most frequently occurring health concern at Kipushi which increased after the rainy season to an average of 26 cases per month over the quarter. In an effort to reduce the incidence of malaria in the Kipushi community, a Water Sanitation and Health (WASH) program has been initiated in cooperation with the Territorial Administrator and the local community. The main emphasis of the program's first phase is cleaning storm drains in the municipality to prevent accumulations of ponded water, where malarial mosquitos breed. The Fionet program to improve malaria diagnostics and treatment expanded to 300 Deki readers installed in 252 medical service providers in Haut-Katanga and Lualaba provinces in Southern DRC, which host Ivanhoe's Kipushi and Kamoa-Kakula projects. Deki readers provide automated readings of rapid diagnostic tests to remove the human-error factor and avoid prescription of unnecessary medication. The data is uploaded to a cloud server for analysis by the Ministry of Health in planning malaria-control measures. There were more than 40,000 patient encounters where Deki readers provided diagnostic testing during the past year, with only approximately 48% of Kipushi Project employees who were symptomatic testing positive for malaria. The Kipushi Mine, which had been placed on care and maintenance in 1993, flooded in early 2011 due to a lack of pump maintenance over an extended period. At its peak, water reached 851 metres below the surface. Ivanhoe restored access to the mine's principal haulage level at 1,150 metres below surface in December 2013; since then, crews have been upgrading underground infrastructure to permanently stabilize the water levels. Since completion of the drilling program, water levels have been lowered to the bottom of Shaft 5, which is planned to be the mine's main production shaft. The shaft is eight metres in diameter, 1,240 metres deep and approximately 1.5 kilometres from the planned main mining area. It provides the primary access to the lower levels of the mine, including the Big Zinc Deposit, through the 1,150-metre haulage level and underground ramp decline. Engineering work has focused on the upgrading of Shaft 5 conveyances and infrastructure, installation of the rock conveyor system, the stripping and evaluation of the underground jaw crusher, refurbishment of bearer sets on the main rising-water pipes, and the replacement of shaft buntons (struts that reinforce the shaft walls). A new twinned high-volume ventilation fan also has been installed and is being commissioned on surface at Shaft 4 to provide fresh air to the underground workings. Figure 5: New rollers being installed on the 1,150-metre-level ore conveyor belt as part of the infrastructure upgrading program: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/1094410-F5.pdf In September 2016, Ivanhoe began a pre-feasibility study (PFS) on the Kipushi Project that will further refine the optimal development scenario for the existing underground mine at Kipushi. Orewin, of Australia, has been appointed the main engineering firm for the preparation of the PFS. Golder Associates, MDM, SRK, DRA, Murray & Roberts and Grindrod also have been engaged to complete various aspects of the study. The PFS will refine the positive preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for the redevelopment of the Kipushi Project that was announced on May 2, 2016. The PEA was prepared in compliance with Canadian National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects. Highlights of the 2016 PEA, prepared by OreWin and the MSA Group (Pty) Ltd, of Johannesburg, South Africa, include: Figure 6: Upgraded supports for Shaft 5 pump columns at the 1,200-metre-level pump station: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/1094410-F6.pdf Preparations are underway to start a 6,500-metre drilling program at Kipushi. The planned program, which is expected to begin later this month, will include six metallurgical holes and additional resource drilling in the Fault Zone and the Nord Riche and Southern Zinc zones to upgrade inferred resources to indicated resources. The Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project, a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines and Zijin Mining, has been independently ranked as the largest copper discovery ever made on the African continent, with adjacent prospective exploration areas within the Central African Copperbelt in the DRC, approximately 25 kilometres west of the town of Kolwezi and about 270 kilometres west of Lubumbashi. Ivanhoe sold a 49.5% share interest in Kamoa Holding Limited to Zijin Mining in December 2015 for an aggregate consideration of $412 million. In addition, Ivanhoe sold a 1% share interest in Kamoa Holding to privately-owned Crystal River Global Limited for $8.32 million - which Crystal River will pay through a non-interest-bearing, 10-year promissory note. Since the conclusion of the Zijin transaction in December 2015, each shareholder of Kamoa Holding has been required to fund expenditures at the Kamoa-Kakula Project in an amount equivalent to its proportionate shareholding interest in the company. A 5%, non-dilutable interest in the Kamoa-Kakula Project was transferred to the DRC government on September 11, 2012, for no consideration, pursuant to the DRC Mining Code. Following the signing of an agreement with the DRC government in November 2016, in which an additional 15% interest in the Kamoa-Kakula Project was transferred to the DRC government, Ivanhoe and Zijin Mining now each hold an indirect 39.6% interest in the Kamoa-Kakula Project, Crystal River Global Limited holds an indirect 0.8% interest and the DRC government holds a direct 20% interest. Kamoa Holding Limited continues to hold an 80% interest in the project. On March 21, 2017, Ivanhoe announced that a new step-out hole, DD1124 - drilled 5.4 kilometres west of the present boundary of Kakula's current Inferred Resources - intersected a relatively shallow, 16.3-metre zone of typical Kakula-style, chalcocite-rich copper mineralization similar to holes drilled in the centre of the high-grade Kakula Deposit on the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project. The new discovery, now referred to as Kakula West extended the length of the Kakula mineralized trend to approximately 10.1 kilometres, essentially doubling the previously estimated strike length of 5.5 kilometres contained in Ivanhoe's January 23, 2017 news release. On April 10, 2017, Ivanhoe announced the assay results for DD1124 that confirmed significant high-grade mineralization. DD1124 intersected 8.86 metres (true width) of 5.83% copper at a 3.0% copper cut-off, beginning at a downhole depth of 428.70 metres; 8.86 metres (true width) of 5.83% copper at a 2.5% copper cut-off; 16.05 metres (true width) of 4.14% copper at a 2.0% copper cut-off; and 16.05 metres (true width) of 4.14% copper at a 1.0% copper cut-off. DD1124's best six-metre intercept was 6.17 metres (true width) at 6.84% copper. In addition to DD1124, additional follow up drilling confirmed the significance of the initial discovery with two western step-out holes: Full details of the DD1138 and DD1144 intersections can be found in the April 10, 2017 news release. Excellent visual drill intercepts continue to be returned at Kakula West. The results show a rapidly growing area of shallow copper mineralization characterized by finely disseminated chalcocite in siltstone and maroon diamictite. The style and the overall geometry of mineralization are typical of the high-grade Kakula trend to the east. The Kakula Discovery remains open along a westerly-southeasterly strike. Importantly, the chalcocite-rich zone of mineralization in DD1124 was intersected at a depth of approximately 400 metres below surface, significantly shallower than several of the mineralized intercepts announced in January 2017 that were drilled closer to the western boundary of the Kakula Inferred Resource. The Kamoa-Kakula Project has started a PEA for larger production cases at both Kamoa and Kakula. The Kakula study will be based on an updated Mineral Resource Estimate expected in May 2017. It is anticipated that the increased resource base will support a Kakula mine capacity of approximately six Mtpa. The Kansoko mine capacity also is expected to be increased to six Mtpa through a change in mining method. The revised PEA targets peak mine production of approximately 12 Mtpa from the current resource base at the presently delineated Kamoa and Kakula deposits. In light of the successful step-out drilling at Kakula West, the Kamoa-Kakula development plans will be reassessed and amended on a continuous basis as the project moves forward. The updated PEA is expected to be completed in Q3 2017. Health and safety remain key priorities for all people working at the Kamoa-Kakula Project. As of March 31, 2017, the Kamoa-Kakula Project had achieved 6,394,834 lost-time injury-free man hours. During Q1 2017, 58 cases of malaria were diagnosed at the Kamoa clinic, compared to 85 for the same period in 2016. This progress is, in part, due to the project's malaria control plan. A major update to the Kamoa Environmental, Social & Health Impact Assessment (ESHIA) was submitted to DEPM (DRC environmental authority) on January 30, 2017, before the required five-year anniversary of the approved 2012 ESHIA. The scope of the updated ESHIA included the Kansoko Mine and concentrator, Kakula Mine and concentrator, Kakula tailings storage facility and main Kolwezi access road. Approval for the updated ESHIA was received from the DEPM on March 3, 2017. Ongoing exploration activities to focus on other high-priority targets As of the end of Q1 2017, more than 25,000 metres had been drilled at Kakula since the start of the year. There are 14 rigs on site, 12 of which are currently drilling; 10 from the contractor and two project-owned rigs. Included in the drilling total were holes drilled for geotechnical and metallurgical studies. Exploration activities significantly increased in Q1 2017. The accelerated exploration program was driven by resource expansion drilling to support an updated Mineral Resource Estimate planned for early Q2 2017 to be used for future development studies on the project. Nine of the 14 rigs on site were dedicated to resource expansion at Kakula. Coinciding with this expansion drilling, exploration activities were increased on untested parts of the Kamoa-Kakula licence. The Kakula West discovery was a result of the expanded grass roots program with three rigs currently dedicated to this area. With the onset of the dry season, the intention is to reallocate a number of rigs from Kakula resource expansion and development activities to test other areas on the Kamoa-Kakula licence where significant Kakula-style targets have been identified but have been inaccessible during the wet season. Figure 9: Kamoa-Kakula mining licence, showing copper grade of Indicated and Inferred Resources at a 2% copper cut-off, untested areas, current target areas and location of Kakula West Discovery: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/1094410-F9.pdf Improved copper recoveries and concentrate grades confirmed by preliminary metallurgical tests on drill core from Kakula Following on from the positive preliminary testwork results received during Q4 2016 of 87.8% recovery at an extremely high concentrate grade of 56% copper, the next phase of flowsheet development has been initiated. A metallurgical drilling campaign to compile a representative composite sample is underway and is planned to be completed during Q3 2017. This sample will be used for the PFS circuit development and optimization testwork which is planned for the second half of 2017. Earlier metallurgical testwork indicated that the Kamoa and Kakula concentrates contain extremely low arsenic levels by world standards - approximately 0.02%. Given this critical competitive marketing advantage, Kamoa-Kakula concentrates are expected to attract a significant premium from copper-concentrate traders for use in blending with concentrates from other mines. The concentrates will help to enable the other concentrates to meet the limit of 0.5% arsenic imposed by Chinese smelters to meet China's environmental restrictions. Mine development at the Kansoko Mine expected to reach high-grade copper in Q2 Byrnecut Underground Congo SARL progressed well with the decline development at Kansoko Sud during Q1 2017. A total of more than 1,600 metres of development had been achieved at the end of Q1 2017. The service and conveyor declines each have been advanced more than 770 metres and are in Kamoa pyritic siltstone, which overlies the copper ore. Development of the underground mine is scheduled to reach the high-grade copper mineralization at the Kansoko Sud Deposit during Q2 2017. The Kamoa-Kakula technical team has identified a location for a box cut for the initial portal to planned decline ramps that will provide underground access to the Kakula Deposit. The design of the box cut has been completed and the excavation, support and civil works have been tendered. A preferred bidder has been identified and the project team is in a position to award the contract. Construction of the Kakula box cut is expected to take approximately five months, after which development of the set of twin declines can commence. A tender document for the Kakula decline development has been completed and will be issued to prospective contractors during Q2 2017. The construction of the 120 kilovolt (kV) power line that branches off from the main supply at Kisenge has been completed. A 120kV mobile substation was installed, commissioned and energized on October 30, 2016. The Kamoa mine site now is connected to the national electrical grid and is receiving hydropower for work on site. An eight-kilometre, 11kV overhead power line with mini substations has been constructed from the mine site to the Kamoa camp and is supplying hydropower to the camp. The supply of electricity from the grid has resulted in significant savings from reduced use of diesel fuel. The design of a 120kV line connecting the Kansoko mine site with Kakula has been designed and tenders from potential contractors have been received. The Mwadingusha Unit 1 repair work was completed in August 2016 and the official inauguration ceremony was held at the Mwadingusha power station on September 7, 2016. The Mwadingusha G1 unit, supplying 11 megawatts, was synchronized to the SNEL, the DRC's state-owned power company, national interconnected grid on September 6, 2016. The contract to purchase four turbines for the Mwadingusha power plant upgrades was awarded and the contract signed between SNEL and the consortium Andritz Hydro & Cegelec Corporation. A site visit by the consortium took place in December in preparation for demolition work to start in August 2017. The Sustainable Livelihoods project is largely aimed at economically empowering communities in the vicinity of the planned mine. The project, which has been in place for the past five years, continues to successfully manage the following programs during Q1 2017: The following table summarizes selected financial information for the prior eight quarters. Ivanhoe had no operating revenue in any financial reporting period and did not declare or pay any dividend or distribution in any financial reporting period. Review of the three months ended March 31, 2017 vs. March 31, 2016 The company's total comprehensive loss for Q1 2017 of $5.0 million was $2.1 million lower than for the same period in 2016 ($7.1 million). The decrease mainly was due to a $5.3 million increase in exchange gains on translation of foreign operations that was partly offset by a $2.0 million decrease in finance income. The decrease in finance income was due to the decrease in the deemed finance income on the purchase price receivable from the partial sale of the Kamoa Project from $4.3 million in Q1 2016 to $1.1 million for the same period in 2017, which coincides with the decrease in the purchase price receivable. Exploration and project expenditures for the three months ending March 31, 2017, amounted to $8.3 million and were $1.4 million more than for the same period in 2016 ($6.9 million). With the focus at the Platreef Project on development and the Kamoa Project being accounted for as a joint venture, $8.2 million of the total $8.3 million exploration and project expenditure related to the Kipushi Project. Expenditure at the Kipushi Project increased by $1.5 million compared to the same period in 2016. The company's share of losses from the Kamoa Holding joint venture increased from $4.2 million in Q1 2016 to $5.5 million in Q1 2017. The following table summarizes the company's share of the comprehensive loss of Kamoa Holding for the three months ending March 31, 2017 and for the same period in 2016: The costs associated with mine development are capitalized as development costs in Kamoa Holding, while the exploration expenditure at Kakula is expensed. The interest expense in the Kamoa Holding joint venture relates to shareholder loans where each shareholder is required to fund Kamoa Holding in an amount equivalent to its proportionate shareholding interest. Financial position as at March 31, 2017 vs. December 31, 2016 The company's total assets decreased by $3.1 million, from 1,002.2 million as at December 31, 2016, to $999.1 million as at March 31, 2017. This resulted from the company utilizing its cash resources in its operations. The company's total liabilities decreased by $2.7 million to $43.3 million as at December 31, 2017, from $46.0 million as at December 31, 2016. The remaining purchase price receivable due to the company as a result of the sale of 49.5% of Kamoa Holding decreased as the company received $41.2 million from Zijin on February 8, 2017. The present value of the remaining consideration receivable, net of transaction costs, was $38.4 million as at March 31, 2017 and is due on May 23, 2017. The company's investment in the Kamoa Holding joint venture increased by $12.5 million from $473.6 as at December 31, 2016, to $486.2 million as at December 31, 2017, with the current shareholders funding the operations equivalent to their proportionate shareholding interest. The company's portion of the Kamoa Holding joint venture cash calls amounted to $13.5 million during Q1 2017, while the company's share of comprehensive loss from joint venture amounted to $5.5 million. At Kamoa-Kakula, the focus remained on development, together with an exploration program at the Kakula Discovery. Property, plant and equipment increased by $13.5 million, with a total of $9.7 million being spent on project development and to acquire other property, plant and equipment, $9.0 million of which pertained to development costs of the Platreef Project. The company utilized $12.2 million of its cash resources in its operations and earned interest income of $0.8 million in Q1 2017. The company had $291.2 million in cash and cash equivalents as at March 31, 2017. Certain of the company's cash and cash equivalents, having an aggregate value of $10.7 million, are subject to contractual restrictions as to their use and are reserved for the Platreef Project. As at March 31, 2017, the company had consolidated working capital of approximately $338.0 million, compared to $364.8 million at December 31, 2016. The Platreef Project working capital is restricted and amounted to $5.6 million at March 31, 2017, and $14.8 million at December 31, 2016. Excluding the Platreef Project working capital, the resultant working capital was $332.4 million at March 31, 2017, and $350.0 million at December 31, 2016. The company believes it has sufficient resources to cover its short-term cash requirements. However, the company's access to financing always is uncertain and there can be no assurance that additional funding will be available to the company in the near future. On December 8, 2015, Zijin, through a subsidiary company, acquired a 49.5% interest in Kamoa Holding for a total of $412 million in a series of payments. Ivanhoe received an initial $206 million from Zijin on December 8, 2015, and a further $41.2 million on each of March 23, 2016, July 8, 2016, October 25, 2016, and February 8, 2017; the last remaining $41.2 million is scheduled to be received on May 23, 2017. Since December 8, 2015, each shareholder in Kamoa Holding has been required to fund Kamoa Holding in an amount equivalent to its proportionate shareholding interest. The company's main objectives for 2017 at the Platreef Project are the completion of the phase one feasibility study, the continuation of Shaft 1 construction and commencement of construction of Shaft 2. At Kipushi, the principal objective is the completion of the PFS and continued upgrading of mining infrastructure. At the Kamoa-Kakula Project, priorities are the continuation of drilling, the continuation of construction of the twin declines at Kamoa and the commencement of a box-cut at Kakula. The company expects to spend $50 million on further development at the Platreef Project; $26 million at the Kipushi Project; $4 million on regional exploration in the DRC; and $11 million on corporate overheads for the remainder of 2017 - as well as its proportionate funding of the Kamoa-Kakula Project, expected to be $35 million for the remainder of 2017. This news release should be read in conjunction with Ivanhoe Mines' Q1 2017 Financial Statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis report available at www.ivanhoemines.com and at www.sedar.com. Disclosures of a scientific or technical nature in this news release have been reviewed and approved by Stephen Torr, who is considered, by virtue of his education, experience and professional association, a Qualified Person under the terms of NI 43-101. Mr. Torr is not considered independent under NI 43-101 as he is the Vice President, Project Geology and Evaluation. Mr. Torr has verified the technical data disclosed in this news release. Ivanhoe has prepared a current independent NI 43-101-compliant technical report for each of the Platreef Project, the Kipushi Project and the Kamoa-Kakula Project, which are available under the company's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com: These technical reports include relevant information regarding the effective dates and the assumptions, parameters and methods of the mineral resource estimates on the Platreef Project, the Kipushi Project and the Kamoa-Kakula Project cited in this news release, as well as information regarding data verification, exploration procedures and other matters relevant to the scientific and technical disclosure contained in this news release in respect of the Platreef Project, Kipushi Project and Kamoa-Kakula Project. Certain statements in this release constitute "forward-looking statements" or "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Such statements and information involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the company, its projects, 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 release. Such statements include without limitation, the timing and results of: (i) statements regarding Shaft 1 providing initial access for early underground development at the Flatreef Deposit; (ii) statements regarding the station development of Shaft 1 at the 450-, 750-, 850- and 950-metre levels; (iii) statements regarding the sinking of Shaft 1, including that a sinking rate of 45 metres per month is expected; (iv) statements regarding Shaft 1 reaching the planned, final depth at 980 metres below surface in 2018; (v) statements regarding the timing of the commencement of Shaft 2 development, including that construction of the early works is to commence in Q2 2017 and will take approximately 12 months to complete; (vi) statements regarding the operational and technical capacity of Shaft 1; (vii) statements regarding the internal diameter and hoisting capacity of Shaft 2; (viii) statements regarding the company's plans to develop the Platreef Mine in three phases: an initial annual rate of four million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) to establish an operating platform to support future expansions; followed by a doubling of production to eight Mtpa; and then a third expansion phase to a steady-state 12 Mtpa; (ix) statements regarding the planned underground mining methods of the Platreef Project including long-hole stoping and drift-and-fill mining; (x) statements regarding peak water use of 10 million litres per day at the Platreef Project and development of the Pruissen Pipeline Project; (xi) statements regarding the Platreef Project's estimated electricity requirement of 100 million volt-amperes; (xii) statements regarding the completion of a feasibility study at the Platreef Project in Q2 2017; (xiii) statements regarding the declines having been designed to intersect the high-grade copper mineralization in the Kansoko Sud area during the second quarter of 2017; (xiv) statements regarding the completion of an updated Mineral Resource Estimate at the Kamoa-Kakula Project in May 2017 and an updated preliminary economic assessment in Q3 2017; (xv) statements regarding the timing, size and objectives of drilling and other exploration programs for 2017 and future periods including a metallurgical drilling campaign at the Kakula deposit planned for Q2 2017; (xvi) statements regarding the implementation of the Social and Labour Plan at the Platreef Project and pledged expenditure of R160 million; (xvii) statements that the Kakula box-cut is expected to take approximately five months; and (xviii) statements regarding expected expenditure for the remainder of 2017 of $50 million on further development at the Platreef Project; $26 million at the Kipushi Project; $4 million on regional exploration in the DRC; and $11 million on corporate overheads - as well as its proportionate funding of the Kamoa-Kakula Project, expected to be $35 million for the remainder of 2017. As well, all of the results of the pre-feasibility study of the Kamoa-Kakula Project and preliminary economic assessment of development options for the Kakula deposit, the pre-feasibility study of the Platreef Project and the preliminary economic assessment of the Kipushi Project, constitute forward-looking statements or information, and include future estimates of internal rates of return, net present value, future production, estimates of cash cost, proposed mining plans and methods, mine life estimates, cash flow forecasts, metal recoveries, estimates of capital and operating costs and the size and timing of phased development of the projects. Furthermore, with respect to this specific forward-looking information concerning the development of the Kamoa-Kakula, Platreef and Kipushi Projects, the company has based its assumptions and analysis on certain factors that are inherently uncertain. Uncertainties include: (i) the adequacy of infrastructure; (ii) geological characteristics; (iii) metallurgical characteristics of the mineralization; (iv) the ability to develop adequate processing capacity; (v) the price of copper, nickel, zinc, platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold; (vi) the availability of equipment and facilities necessary to complete development; (vii) the cost of consumables and mining and processing equipment; (viii) unforeseen technological and engineering problems; (ix) accidents or acts of sabotage or terrorism; (x) currency fluctuations; (xi) changes in regulations; (xii) the compliance by joint venture partners with terms of agreements, (xiii) the availability and productivity of skilled labour; (xiv) the regulation of the mining industry by various governmental agencies; and (xiv) political factors. This release also contains references to estimates of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves. The estimation of Mineral Resources is inherently uncertain and involves subjective judgments about many relevant factors. Estimates of Mineral Reserves provide more certainty but still involve similar subjective judgements. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. The accuracy of any such estimates is a function of the quantity and quality of available data, and of the assumptions made and judgments used in engineering and geological interpretation (including estimated future production from the company's projects, the anticipated tonnages and grades that will be mined and the estimated level of recovery that will be realized), which may prove to be unreliable and depend, to a certain extent, upon the analysis of drilling results and statistical inferences that ultimately may prove to be inaccurate. Mineral Resource or Mineral Reserve estimates may have to be re-estimated based on: (i) fluctuations in copper, nickel, zinc, platinum group elements (PGE), gold or other mineral prices; (ii) results of drilling; (iii) metallurgical testing and other studies; (iv) proposed mining operations, including dilution; (v) the evaluation of mine plans subsequent to the date of any estimates and/or changes in mine plans; (vi) the possible failure to receive required permits, approvals and licences; and (vii) changes in law or regulation. Forward-looking statements and information involve significant risks and uncertainties, should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results and will not necessarily be accurate indicators of whether or not such results will be achieved. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements or information, including, but not limited to, the factors discussed below and under "Risk Factors", as well as unexpected changes in laws, rules or regulations, or their enforcement by applicable authorities; the failure of parties to contracts with the company to perform as agreed; social or labour unrest; changes in commodity prices; and the failure of exploration programs or studies to deliver anticipated results or results that would justify and support continued exploration, studies, development or operations. Although the forward-looking statements contained in this 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 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 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 in the "Risk Factors" section of the company's Q1 2017 MD&A.