MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Dec. 5, 2013) - Afri-Can Marine Minerals Corporation ("Afri-Can") (TSX VENTURE:AFA) announces that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with International Mining and Dredging Holding Ltd ("IMDH") for the development and mining of the Mining Leases ("ML") under option with Diamond Fields International Ltd ("DFI") and of the Exclusive Prospecting License ("EPL") 3403, both situated off the coast of Namibia (see Map 1).
Salient features of the Memorandum of Understanding are:
- IMDH will design and operate a large sampling program of up to 800 samples mainly on ML 111 and, to a lesser extent, on EPL 3403. The sampling program will serve to establish mining blocks and grades in preparation for mining and to upgrade some of the NI 43-101 inferred resources to the indicated category, as well as further the development of EPL 3403. Afri-Can will fund the program on or before March 1st, 2014. Budgets will be prepared by IMDH and approved by Afri-Can. The Company is currently revising various options in order to raise the funds needed;
- Afri-Can and IMDH will create a joint-venture company, which will fund and operate the mining program on ML 111 and EPL 3403 if deemed economically viable. IMDH will fund the preparation of the mining vessel and Afri-Can will fund the vessel operating costs for the 3 first months of the mining program;
- Afri-Can and IMDH will share equally in the net profits from production after payment of 10% of the net profits to DFI and 10% of the net profits to Woduna Mining Holding (PTY) Ltd.;
- Afri-Can is currently preparing a pre-feasibility study and a preliminary economic assessment (PEA). IMDH will prepare the mining plan from the PEA and from the results of the sampling program;
- The first funding phase of the program will include a payment of US$350,000 to IMDH by Afri-Can, which is due from the last sampling program on EPL 3403 carried out in December 2012. Afri-Can will also deposit US$500,000 with AfrAsia Corporate Finance (Africa) Limited, the first US$200,000 of which will be paid to IMDH in order to complete the transfer of ownership of the remaining 80% of the shares of Thyme Investment (PTY) Ltd ("Thyme"), the owner of EPL 3403. The balance of US$300,000 will serve as a deposit for the funding of the sampling program;
- Upon payment of the US$200,000 to IMDH, Afri-Can will complete the acquisition of all the shares of Thyme and in accordance with the agreement signed with IMDH on September 27th 2010, Afri-Can will issue 9,750,000 of its common shares to IMDH and 3,250,000 of its common shares to BV Investment (PTY) Ltd. Afri-Can will then hold 100% of EPL 3403.
Afri-Can's immediate goal is to focus on ML 111's existing resources in order to resume production in the shortest time frame possible. There are also several other features, additional to those containing resources, within the four DFI leases that hold potential for diamond mineralisation but have been insufficiently sampled, and these features will be investigated. The second goal is to complete the sampling program on EPL 3403, which remains a high priority exploration target.
Pierre Léveillé, President and CEO of Afri-Can, stated that, "We are very pleased with this agreement as it gets us to a level that will allow mining and provide regular development and value for our shareholders. The DFI portfolio of Mining Leases complements EPL 3403 and offers very good development potential. We feel that we are sitting in a strong project in a very solid industry."
About ML 111
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 at least 3 mineralised geological features. The ML was originally granted for a period of 15 years and is renewable on December 4th, 2015. A recent NI 43-101 report estimates 413,000 carats of indicated diamond resources and 453,000 carats of inferred diamond resources remain on ML 111. A portion of the indicated resources, some 255,000 carats grading at 0.30 carats per square metre, will be the first focus for mining development. The company is currently preparing a pre-feasibility study and a PEA on this resource and until the study is completed it is uncertain that the resource will prove to be economic.
The resource exists 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. 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. DFI ceased production following the world financial crisis.
About EPL 3403
EPL 3403 covers 800 square kilometres and is adjacent to the Atlantic One deposit (operated by De Beers Marine), which is the world's largest marine diamond deposit with a resource estimated at about 100 million carats. Previous sampling on EPL 3403 by Afri-Can and IMDH discovered 3 diamond deposits and recovered 117 diamonds. The 4 largest diamonds were of 2.69, 1.76, 1.60 and 1.30 carats. Several stones weighed over 0.50 carats. The average diamond sizes found in EPL 3403 are similar to those in adjacent concessions.
Richard Foster, B.Sc. (Hons. Geology), Pr. Sci. Nat., is the Qualified Person who has prepared the NI 43-101 report, 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. Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Shares outstanding: 91,527,864
To view Map 1 please click on the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/AFA1205.pdf