MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - March 21, 2013) - Afri-Can Marine Minerals Corporation ("Afri-Can") (TSX VENTURE:AFA) and Diamond Fields International Ltd ("DFI") today announced an option agreement that enables Afri-Can to acquire a 90% interest in diamond Mining Leases 111, 138, 139 and 32 off the coast of Namibia in the region of Luderitz (see Map 1). Mining Lease ("ML") 111 hosts an historical resource of 950,000 carats of gem quality diamonds.
The option agreement is valid for 2 years and in order to complete the acquisition, Afri-Can is required to spend $800,000 of exploration expenditures on the MLs before the first year anniversary and an additional $2.5 million of exploration expenditures before the second year anniversary of the option agreement. Afri-Can entered in the option with its Namibian partner Woduna Mining Holding (PTY) Ltd ("Woduna"). Upon exercise of the option on MLs 111, 138 & 139, the interests in the MLs will be: Afri-Can 80%, DFI 10% and Woduna 10%. Upon exercise of the option on ML 32, the interests in the ML will be Afri-Can 90%, Woduna 10%, DFI 7% and Full Screen Investments (PTY) Ltd 3%.
Afri-Can's technical team is currently reviewing the extensive database and planning work programs. The main goal is to resume production as soon as possible. Some areas will need further exploration such as geophysical surveying and sampling in order to define properly the resource and to establish a definitive mining plan. Afri-Can intends to identify the areas that could resume mining as soon as possible.
About the Mining Leases (see Map 2)
ML 111 lies between 5 to 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 renewable on December 4th, 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. Special stones recovered from Marshall Fork included a gem quality 17.42 carat stone, a rare 5.26 carat light blue diamond which sold for US$10,457 per carat, and a 2.45 carat pink gem diamond which sold for US$16,771 per carat.
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. In order 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. Production to the end of September 2007 amounted to 16,245 carats with an average size of 0.43 carats per stone. DFI ceased production following the world financial crisis.
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 renewable on February 18th, 2019.
ML 138 and ML 139 (originally EPL 1607 A & B) 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 renewable on November 4th 2019. ML 139 is renewable on November 4th, 2029.
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."
Ian Ransome, CEO and President of Diamond Fields, stated that, "The Afri-Can agreement is a positive step forward in the restructuring of the Company. It further develops the Namibian concessions and allows DFI to focus on developing its other marine portfolio. The structure of the agreement has only an upside for the Company with the potential to generate a revenue stream."
Leonard Gardner, B.Sc. (Honours, Geology), Pr.Sci. Nat., is the Qualified Person who has reviewed this press release and is responsible for the technical part of this press release, and is the designated Qualified Person under the terms of National Instrument 43-101.
About Afri-Can Marine Minerals Corporation
Afri-Can is a Canadian company, actively involved in the acquisition, exploration and development of major mineral properties in Namibia. Afri-Can's creative and scientific approach targets large marine diamond deposits in prospective territories.
This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements," as identified in the Afri-Can's periodic filings with Canadian Securities Regulators that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements.
You can view Map 1 and Map 2 at this address: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/afaa0321.pdf.
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