TORONTO and JOHANNESBURG, Jan. 28 /CNW/ - BRC DiamondCore Ltd. ("BRC" or the "Company") (TSX - BCD; JSE - BCD) is pleased to announce that the Company has entered into an agreement (the "JV Agreement") with Rio Tinto Minerals Development Limited ("Rio Tinto") for the exploration for iron ore in areas within the Province Orientale, Democratic Republic of the Congo (the "DRC"). These areas total approximately 4,550 square kilometres and are covered by exploration permits (the "Permits") in which the diamond and iron ore rights had been controlled by the Company. Under the JV Agreement, which is in the form of a shareholders' agreement, the Company will own 25% of the share capital of the joint venture company which holds the Permits, with Rio Tinto owning 75% of the share capital. This structure is expected to implemented by the end of February 2010. BRC has retained the diamond rights.
Under the JV Agreement, all iron ore exploration up to and including the completion of any feasibility study will be funded by Rio Tinto. The Company will not suffer any dilution during this period, such that the Company's 25% interest in the properties will be maintained during this period. The exploration will be carried out by Rio Tinto (or one of its affiliates) as operator. After the completion of any feasibility study, funding for the project is to be provided by Rio Tinto and BRC pro rata based on their respective interests in the joint venture company.
Initial geological research and exploration indicates that the Permit areas, which are largely unexplored using modern exploration methods, are highly prospective for the discovery of iron ore deposits. As part of the 2010 exploration program, Rio Tinto plans to undertake a reconnaissance drill program over the Permit areas.
Commenting on the JV Agreement, Dr. Mike de Wit, President of BRC, said: "This strengthens the existing relationship between the two companies. We are very pleased to have Rio Tinto as our partner in the DRC for both our diamond and now iron ore exploration programs and that these programs are well funded through the Rio Tinto/BRC joint ventures."
Dr. Mike de Wit, President of the Company and a "qualified person" (as such term is defined in National Instrument 43-101), has reviewed the technical information in this press release.
Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the United Kingdom, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe and southern Africa.
BRC DiamondCore Ltd. is an African-focused diamond explorer with projects in the DRC. Led by a management team with extensive experience in diamond exploration and mine development, the Company works in a systematic and responsible manner to discover, assess and develop diamond resources for the benefit of its shareholders and local stakeholders.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, that address activities, events or developments that the Company believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future (including, without limitation, statements relating to potential mineralization and plans and objectives with respect to iron ore exploration) are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements reflect the current expectations or beliefs of the Company based on information currently available to the Company. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results of the Company to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements, and even if such actual results are realized or substantially realized, there can be no assurance that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on the Company. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations include, among other things, the possibility that future exploration results will not be consistent with expectations, changes in equity markets, changes in iron ore markets, foreign currency fluctuations, political developments in the DRC, changes to regulations affecting exploration or development activities, uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future, delays in obtaining or failure to obtain required project approvals, the uncertainties involved in interpreting geological data and the other risks involved in the mineral resource exploration business. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise. Although the Company believes that the assumptions inherent in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and accordingly undue reliance should not be put on such statements due to the inherent uncertainty therein.
SOURCE BRC DiamondCore Ltd.
For further information: For further information: please visit our website, www.brc-diamondcore.com, or contact: In Toronto: Martin D. Jones, Vice President, Corporate Development, (416) 366-2221 or 1-800-714-7938; In Johannesburg: Brian P. Scallan, Vice President, Finance, +27 11 9582885