24% increase in indicated resource at Etruscan's Blue Gum Diamond Project in South Africa

    HALIFAX, Sept. 11 /CNW/ - Etruscan Resources Inc. (EET.TSX) announced
today that its 52% owned subsidiary, Etruscan Diamonds (Pty) Ltd. ("Etruscan
Diamonds") has received a National Instrument 43-101 compliant independent
resource update on its Blue Gum Diamond Project in South Africa which
substantially increases both the indicated resource on the project and the in
situ value of the resource. The independent resource update prepared by
Dr. Tania Marshall of Explorations Unlimited as of June 30, 2008 estimates
that the Blue Gum Diamond Project contains 25.5 million cubic meters of
indicated diamond resource which represents almost a 24% increase in the
indicated resource from the previous resource calculation in January of this
year. The value of the in situ resource has also increased substantially with
the steady increase in the market value of rough diamonds experienced over the
past year. The value per carat in the report has increased from US$466 per
carat to the present value of US$606 per carat. Details of the updated
resource are set out below:

                            Indicated      Inferred
                            Resources     Resources        Grade       Value
                          (Million m3)  (Million m3)   (ct/100m3)    (USD/ct)
    Upper Gravel Package       16.109         8.613         1.77         606
    Lower Gravel Package       11.801         6.744         2.85         606
    Depleted by mining         (2.365)        (.023)
    TOTAL                      25.545        15.334                      606

    A 43-101 compliant report on the Blue Gum Resource titled Technical
Report on the BlueGum Alluvial Diamond Project (Nooitgedacht 131,
Hartbeestlaagte 146 and Zwartrand 145 properties), Ventersdorp District,
Republic of South Africa, effective date June 30, 2008 prepared by Dr Tania
Marshall of Explorations Unlimited will be filed on SEDAR today.

    Kevin MacNeill, President of Etruscan Diamonds stated:

    "We are extremely pleased with the increase in the indicated resource and
we look forward to completing the pre-feasibility study in the coming weeks
which will lay the groundwork for expanding our present processing facilities
from a 100,000 cubic meter per month capacity to 260,000 cubic meters per
    The jump in the average value from US$466 per carat to US$606 per carat
has a significant positive impact on the project economics. This increase is
based on actual sales data and reflects the increase in the selling prices of
diamonds from Blue Gum over the first half of this year. We expect this upward
trend to continue as international diamond prices increase.
    However, what continues to excite me most about the Blue Gum Project is
the potential to identify additional resources. As Dr. Marshall states in her
latest report, a large area of exploration potential exists on the Blue Gum
Project beyond the resource that has been identified to date. This includes
the gravels below and adjacent to the existing defined resource as well as the
gravels located in other sink holes located on the Blue Gum property."

    Blue Gum Operations Update

    During the first quarter of 2008, Etruscan Diamonds recommenced mining
and processing operations at the Tirisano Diamond Mine located on the Blue Gum
property. The gravel from the mine is being processed at the pre-existing
Tirisano DMS (dense media separation) plant, which Etruscan Diamonds regained
control of late in 2007, and through four 16 foot pan plants which have
recently been installed near the DMS plant. The objective is to achieve a
monthly throughput of 100,000 cubic meters of gravel per month from the two
facilities with 40,000 cubic meters coming from the DMS plant and 60,000 cubic
meters from the pan plant.
    Production at the Tirisano Diamond Mine for the three month period ending
August 31, 2008 was approximately 150,000 cubic meters yielding 4,099 carats
for an overall grade of 2.74 carats per hundred cubic meters and a rough
tender average value of US$589 per carat.
    The ramp up at the Tirisano DMS plant and the new pan plants is
continuing towards the forecast production rate of 100,000 cubic meters per
month. To ensure uninterrupted power supply for operations, Etruscan Diamonds
purchased a 2.2 megawatt generator to provide backup power availability for
the entire mine site when grid power is unavailable. Installation of a
commercial scale pre-screening unit has also been completed which increases
the pre-screening capacity from 1,000 cubic meters per day to 10,000 cubic
meters per day. This installation is critical to ensuring ramp up of the pan
plants to the steady state production rate of 60,000 cubic meters per month.
The forecast production rate of 100,000 cubic meters per month is anticipated
to recover over 2,500 carats per month.

    Blue Gum Resource and Expansion

    Etruscan Diamonds is presently completing a pre-feasibility study on the
viability of expanding the operations on the Blue Gum Diamond Project from the
forecast production rate of 100,000 cubic meters per month to a monthly rate
of 260,000 cubic meters. The pre-feasibility study is being led by MDM
Engineering of South Africa and is expected to be completed by the end of
    On successful completion of the pre-feasibility study, Etruscan Diamonds
intends to undertake an initial public offering together with a stock exchange
listing in order to finance the expansion. Originally it had been planned that
the IPO would be completed in the spring of 2008 however in light of market
conditions, this was delayed until later this fall assuming more favourable
market conditions. The decision to delay the financing has allowed Etruscan
Diamonds to include the results of the more recent drilling and updated
resource calculation in the pre-feasibility study. In order to allow Etruscan
Diamonds to continue to proceed with orderly development of the Blue Gum
Diamond Project, Etruscan Diamonds Ltd. recently completed a rights offering
to its existing shareholders raising approximately $2 million.
    The Blue Gum Diamond Project is operated through Blue Gum Diamonds (Pty)
Limited, which is owned 74% by Etruscan Diamonds and 26% by Mogopa Blue Gum
(Pty) Limited ("Mogopa"). Mogopa is Etruscan Diamond's Black Economic
Empowerment partner for the project as required by South African mineral
legislation. The Mogopa community consists of about 350 families located near
the Blue Gum Diamond Project. Etruscan Diamonds and the Mogopa community have
shared a long positive working relationship.
    Robert Harris P. Eng and Vice President of Operations of Etruscan
Resources Inc. is the Qualified Person overseeing the diamond projects in
South Africa, and has reviewed and approved this press release.

    About Etruscan Resources Inc.

    Etruscan Resources Inc. is a gold focused Canadian junior mining company
with dominant land positions in district scale gold belts covering more than
13,000 square kilometers in West Africa. Its principal mine development
projects include the Youga Gold Project in Burkina Faso (latest press release
dated August 20, 2008), the Agbaou Gold Project in Côte d'Ivoire (latest press
release dated February 21, 2008), and the Finkolo Gold Project in Mali (latest
press release dated July 2, 2008). Advanced and early stage exploration
projects are on-going in Burkina Faso, Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana (see press
release dated June 10, 2008) and Namibia (see press release dated
June 19, 2008). See press release dated May 6, 2008 for a comprehensive update
of explorations projects. The common shares of Etruscan are traded on The TSX
Exchange under the symbol "EET". More extensive information on Etruscan can be
found on its home page at http://www.etruscan.com

    This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements which
involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may
cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be
materially different from any future results, performance or achievements
expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking
statements may include statements regarding exploration results and budgets,
mineral reserve and resource estimates, work programs, capital expenditures,
mine operating costs, production targets and timetables, future commercial
production, strategic plans, market price of precious metals or other
statements that are not statements of fact. Although the Company believes the
expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it
can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to have been correct.
Various factors that may affect future results include, but are not limited
to: fluctuations in market prices of precious metals; foreign currency
exchange fluctuations; risks relating to mining exploration and development
including reserve estimation and costs and timing of commercial production;
requirements for additional financing; political and regulatory risks, and
other risks and uncertainties described in the Company's annual information
form filed with the Canadian Securities regulators on SEDAR (www.sedar.com).
Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking


For further information:

For further information: from Etruscan contact: Richard Gordon, Investor
Relations, rgordon@etruscan.com, (877) 465-3674, Fax (902) 832-6702

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