* Discovers new mineralized zone at Oyu Tolgoi in Mongolia
* New discovery has been named the Heruga North deposit
* Shares up 1.6 pct (All figures in U.S. dollars, unless noted)
TORONTO, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Ivanhoe Mines (IVN.TO) said on Tuesday it has discovered a new mineralized zone at its Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold project in Mongolia.
The Canadian exploration company said the discovery, named the Heruga North deposit, bolsters its view that the Oyu Tolgoi system contains significantly more gold and copper than already outlined.
Ivanhoe, whose shares were up 1.6 percent in premarket trade, is developing the nearly $5 billion Oyu Tolgoi project in partnership with Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto (RIO.L) (RIO.AX) and the government of Mongolia. The long-delayed project finally received approval from Mongolian authorities in October 2009, following years of negotiations. [ID:nSP495396]
Ivanhoe, which is led by colorful dealmaker Robert Friedland, said the new discovery is part of a 2.5-kilometre, gold-rich mineralized extension of the Heruga Deposit, which stretches north from the southern border of the Oyu Tolgoi mining area.
“It’s possible that Heruga and Heruga North eventually could be developed together as one of the world’s largest underground gold mines,” Friedland said in a statement.
The company said that there has been insufficient drilling to define a mineral resource at Heruga North, but it believes that the deposit could have similar tonnage and grade to the adjoining Heruga Deposit.
Ivanhoe believes the Heruga Deposit contains an estimated 10.2 billion pounds of copper and 15 million ounces of gold.
The company’s shares rose 38 cents to $23.60 in premarket trading. ($1= $1.03 Canadian) (Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Derek Caney)