Ivanhoe gains shareholding in pulsed power company through HPX debt conversion

The Kamoa-Kakula mining complex in the DRC

The Kamoa-Kakula mining complex in the DRC

15th June 2023

By: Marleny Arnoldi

Deputy Editor Online


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TSX-listed Ivanhoe Mines has reached an agreement with High Power Exploration (HPX) whereby a convertible loan balance of $76-million owed to Ivanhoe by HPX will be replaced by an equity investment in I-Pulse, HPX’s parent company.

I-Pulse is a US company headquartered in France that develops pulsed power technologies.

Pulsed power releases the equivalent power output of a nuclear power station in a billionth of a second and it has commercial application in high-speed metal forming and welding, as well as in mineral exploration, Ivanhoe explains.

Ivanhoe joins diversified miner BHP as an investor in I-Pulse and intends to enter into a collaboration agreement with an I-Pulse subsidiary, I-ROX, to investigate and develop applications for pulsed power technology in the mining sector.

Particularly, Ivanhoe’s flagship project, the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Complex, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, will start a test programme with I-ROX aimed at improving copper recoveries.

I-ROX has since November last year been deploying I-Pulse’s technology to transform the processes of crushing and grinding mineral ores in the mining industry.

For example, I-ROX has demonstrated that short, high-intensity bursts of electrical energy, delivered using pulsed-power technology, can quickly and efficiently shatter rocks and mineral ores.

This process, which targets tensile weakness in rocks, could substantially reduce the time, energy use and greenhouse-gas emissions that are normally associated with the crushing and grinding of mineral ores.

Kamoa-Kakula achieved an average copper feed grade of 5.5% and recoveries of 86% in 2022, meaning that the grade of Kamoa-Kakula’s tailings was about 0.8% copper. Any further improvement in copper recoveries presents a significant opportunity to generate additional revenue at the mine.

Ivanhoe extended a $50-million convertible loan to HPX in April 2019. As at May 31 this year, the loan balance, including accrued interest, totalled about $76-million.

Under the new agreement, Ivanhoe will transfer all convertible loan obligations from HPX to I-Pulse, in exchange for the issuance of common shares in I-Pulse to Ivanhoe.

Ivanhoe will also receive certain investor rights, including a pre-emptive right to maintain its percentage ownership in I-Pulse in the event of an equity financing, which ceases upon an initial public offering of I-Pulse securities.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online



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