Ivanhoe Mines reports 'extraordinary' drilling results in SAfrica' stock soars

TORONTO - Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN) shares jumped more than six per cent Wednesday in the wake of reports of "extraordinary" and "unprecedented" drilling results at its Platreef project in South Africa.

The company reported before markets opened that it had intersected high mineralization for platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold in a recently drilled hole at the underground at the project in South Africa's Bushveld complex.

The announcement sent the company's stock higher, and it closed the day 13 cents higher at $2.26 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

"This is an extraordinary drill hole," executive chairman Robert Friedland said. "The 90-metre thickness of the intercept, which roughly is the same height as a 30-storey building, is unprecedented at Platreef and I believe it also is without precedent in an underground platinum discovery in South Africa.

"The scale of the mineralized intercept has obvious implications for the contained PGMs (platinum group metals) and base metals in the open-ended Flatreef poly-metallic discovery."

Friendland said the combined grade and thickness of the PGMs and base metals mineralization seen in the drill hole "far exceeds anything we've previously encountered in all of our years of delineating resources on our Platreef project."

The current development drilling program is being conducted in an area around the site for the bulk-sample shaft that forms part of the planned, initial five years of underground mining at Flatreef. The company will use the results from the metallurgy and geotechnical holes for feasibility study test work.

Ivanhoe Mines was briefly called Ivanplats Ltd. when it became the centre of various name swaps involving billionaire Robert Friedland, who also founded another company named Ivanhoe Mines that was taken over.

The original Ivanhoe Mines company changed its name to Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (TSX:TRQ) when Friedland stepped away from the company last year, as part of a deal with Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO).

In August, Friendland reclaimed the name for the more recently formed Vancouver-based company.