VANCOUVER, March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Diamond Fields International Ltd. (DFI:TSX) is pleased to announce that it has signed a joint venture option agreement with Afri-Can Marine Minerals Corporation ("Afri-Can") to further develop the DFI's marine diamond leases in Namibia (the "Agreement"). Under the Agreement, Afri-Can and its local partner have the option to acquire a 90% interest in DFI's diamond Mining Leases numbered 111, 138, 139 and 32 located off the coast of Namibia in exchange for spending $3.3 million within 2 years on a program designed to place the properties back into commercial production. Mining Lease ("ML") 111 hosts an historical resource of 950,000 carats of gem quality diamonds.
To earn the interest, Afri-Can must spend at least $800,000 on the Mining Leases within one year of any required regulatory approval to the transaction (the "Approval Date"), and at least an additional $2.5 million within 2 years of the Approval Date (the "Option Period"). During the Option Period, Afri-Can will also be liable for all costs associated with maintaining the properties in good standing. DFI will retain a 10% interest in the properties and, importantly, will retain the right to 10% of all diamond production, without any liability for the capital and development costs for a period of two years from the date the option has been exercised by Afri-Can.
Ian Ransome CEO and President of Diamond Fields, stated that, "The Afri-Can agreement is a positive step forward in restructuring of the Company. It further develops the Namibian concessions and allows DFI to focus its resources on advancing other components of its marine portfolio. The agreement provides the Company with a realistic opportunity to generate a dependable revenue stream without significant further cash investment."
Pierre Léveillé, President and CEO of Afri-Can, stated that, "We are very pleased with this agreement. The DFI portfolio of Mining Leases complements EPL 3403 and offers very good development potential. It will enable us to get a resource base and then start production. We feel that we are sitting on a strong project in a very solid industry."
ML 111 lies between 5 and 20 kilometres north of Luderitz. It covers 312 square kilometres and sits in water ranging from 30 to 70 metres in depth. ML 111 hosts 4 different depositional areas. The ML was originally granted for a period of 15 years and is valid and renewable on December 4, 2015. A resource estimate and a feasibility study were prepared by MRDI and AGRA-Simons in 2000. The historic resource, which is not compliant with National Instrument 43-101, amounted to 1.1 million carats with an average grade of 0.30 carats per square metre. The resource existed in the Marshall Fork, Staple Basin/Conical Beach and Diaz Reef areas. DFI produced intermittently between 2001 and 2007 some 158,200 carats, mainly from the Marshall Fork area, implying remaining historical resources of approximately 950,000 carats.
Afri-Can is not treating the historical resource as a current mineral resource and will undertake to prepare a NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate as part of its exploration program. To comply with NI 43-101 and to upgrade the historical resource to an inferred or indicated level, Afri-Can will carry out a geophysical survey covering a minimum of 1,000 line kilometres and a sampling program of a minimum of 400 samples of 5 square metres over targeted areas. In 2006, SRK Consulting estimated a NI 43-101 compliant Indicated Resource on a small area of ML 111 called Diaz Prospect 1 of 63,000 carats over 315,000 square metres with an average grade of 0.2 carats per square metre.
ML 32 extends 65 kilometres north of Luderitz, covers 176 square kilometres and extends from the high-water mark to 30 metres of water depth. Between 1987 and 1997, a total of 37,335 carats were produced by various contract divers working from the shore with small vessels. No significant production has been undertaken in this property since that time. The ML is valid and renewable on February 18th, 2019.
ML 138 and ML 139 are adjacent to the west of ML 32 and ML 111 and cover 92 and 130 square kilometres respectively in water ranging from 30 to 120 metres in depth. Previous sampling data from ML 138 and ML 139 will be reviewed in order to plan further work and potential resource estimation. ML 138 is valid and renewable on November 4, 2019. ML 139 is valid and renewable on November 4, 2029.
The geological and technical information in this press release has been compiled and reviewed by Ian Ransome, B.Sc. (Hons) Geology, Pri. Sci. Nat. Mr. Ransome is the CEO for Diamond Fields International, 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.
SIGNED: "Ian Ransome"
Ian Ransome, Chief Executive Officer
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, except as otherwise required by law.
SOURCE Diamond Fields International Ltd.