VANCOUVER, Canada and JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, June 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Diamond Fields International Ltd. (DFI:TSX) (DFI or the Company) is pleased to announce that its joint venture partner, Manafa International Trade Company of Saudi Arabia (Manafa) has been granted an exclusive mining license for a period of 30 years, extending over the Atlantis II Deeps, one of the largest hydrothermal polymetallic deposits in the world, located within the Red Sea.
Pursuant to the terms of the joint venture agreement with Manafa, DFI owns 50.1% of the venture and Manafa owns 49.9%. The project will be developed in defined stages, commencing with a Scoping Study to start immediately and designed to test the accuracy of the huge volume of historic data available on the deposit.
The Atlantis II Deeps has a surface area of 60 square kilometers (23 square miles) and contains an extensive volume of metal enriched mud, the consistency of soft toothpaste.
Extensive historical work has been conducted on the project, with a total of 628 cores having been taken, with a total length of approximately 4km. The bulk of the cores are in an excellent state of preservation, which will enable Diamond Fields to produce a preliminary NI 43-101 compliant resource statement for the deposit. Historical exploration work undertaken by the former Preussag AG culminated in a program to demonstrate the technical viability of mining the deposit and processing it through to the production of metals. This was accomplished through a maritime test pilot mining operation conducted over a 4 month period from March to June 1979, and resulting in the production of metals using hydrometallurgy. This work demonstrated that the metal-rich sediments could be successfully raised from the sea floor and processed. More than $70 million USD (in 1970's dollars) has been spent to date in research work conducted on the deposit and funded by the Government of Saudi Arabia.
The latest historic resource estimates (not NI 43-101 compliant) of Atlantis II Deeps suggest tremendous economic potential with approximately 1.83 million tonnes of zinc, 402,000 tonnes of copper, 3432 tonnes of silver contained within 89.5 million tones of ore (Dry Salt Free).
Diamond Fields has reached agreement with David Heydon, former CEO of Nautilus Minerals Inc., to spearhead development of this project (see DFI press release of March 24, 2010).
Commenting on this significant project, Wayne Malouf, DFI's Chief Executive Officer said "Diamond Fields is pleased to be teaming with Manafa to develop this exceptional project and excited at the opportunity to bring DFI's specialist marine mining expertise to bear on this world-class deposit."
The geological and technical information in this press release has been compiled and reviewed by Mr. I Ransome B.Sc. (Hons) Geology, UBO, Pri. Sci. Nat. Mr. Ransome is the Chief Geologist for Diamond Fields, and is a registered geological scientist with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP) and is thus a Qualified Person under NI 43-101 of the Canadian Securities Administrators.
DIAMOND FIELDS INTERNATIONAL LTD. "Wayne Malouf" Wayne Malouf, Chief Executive Officer
The Company's Qualified Person has not done sufficient work to classify the historical estimate as current mineral resources. Accordingly, Diamond Fields is not treating the historical estimate as current mineral resources, and the historical estimate should not be relied upon.
Historical geological data for this Release came from the Atlantis 2 Red Sea data and reports generated by Pressaug AG and from the following sources:
Blanc, and Anschutz, 1995. New stratification in the hydrothermal brine system of the Atlantis II Deep, Red Sea. Geology.1995; 23: 543-546
Guney M., Nawab Z., and Mahoun N.A., 1984: Atlantis II Deep's Metal Reserves and their Evaluation. OTC 4780, 16th Ann. Offshore Technology Conf. Texas.
Herzig P.M., Holroyd, R. Hardman, M. Osmaston, J. A. Karson, R. S. White and K. Rohr, 1999; Economic Potential of Sea-Floor Massive Sulphide Deposits: Ancient and Modern (and Discussion). The Royal Society.
Herzig, P.M., Petersen S., and Hannington M.D., 2002: Polymetallic Massive Sulphide deposits at the Sea Floor and their Resource Potential. In Polymetallic Massive Sulphides and Cobalt-Rich Ferromanganese Crust: Status and Prospects. International Seabed Authority Tech. Rep. # 2.
Statements in this release that are forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties concerning the specific factors identified in Diamond Fields' periodic filings with Canadian Securities Regulators. Such forward-looking information represents management's best judgment based on information currently available. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed and actual future results may vary materially. Diamond Fields does not assume the obligation to update any forward-looking statement.
SOURCE Diamond Fields International Ltd.