Etruscan Diamonds achieving over $750 per carat

    HALIFAX, March 12 /CNW/ - Etruscan Resources Inc. (EET.TSX) reported
today that diamond sales for the month of February by its 54% owned subsidiary
Etruscan Diamonds (Pty) Limited of South Africa, have averaged in excess of
$750 per carat. These prices are well in excess of the $466 per carat value
ascribed in the recently reported 43-101 compliant resource estimate for the
Blue Gum Project (see Press Release February 1, 2008) and confirm the
significantly higher grades and value of diamonds in the deeper gravel
    Production at the Tirisano Diamond Mine for the month of February was
45,649 cubic meters yielding 1,224 carats for an overall grade of 2.67 carats
per hundred cubic meters. A total of 1,311 carats were placed on tender in
early March and the average bid price received was US$845 per carat.
954 carats were sold for gross proceeds of US$727,000 yielding an average
price of US$762 per carat. Consistent with the objective of creating a
vertically integrated company, 357 carats were withdrawn from the tender for
cutting and polishing by Etruscan Diamonds' strategic partner African Romance
of Sandton, South Africa. Experience to date indicates that diamond cutting
and polishing can add in excess of 40% to rough tender diamond prices.
    The diamond production, which generated these sales, came from the
Tirisano Diamond Mine on the Blue Gum Project located in the alluvial diamond
district of Ventersdorp in South Africa. Etruscan Diamonds recommenced mining
at the Tirisano Diamond Mine in January, 2008. The Tirisano plant is rated to
treat 50,000 cubic meters of gravel per month. Etruscan Diamonds has also
installed four 16 foot pan plants, which have added an additional 50,000 cubic
meters per month capacity to the Tirisano operations. The ramp-up of the
pre-existing plant and the new pan plants will continue and is expected to
achieve the forecast production rate of 100,000 cubic meters per month within
sixty days. The 100,000 cubic meters per month operation is anticipated to
recover over 2,500 carats per month.
    An independent 43-101 compliant resource update recently completed by
Dr. Tania Marshall of Explorations Unlimited, estimates that the Blue Gum
Project contains 20.5 million cubic meters of indicated diamond resource and
17 million cubic meters of inferred diamond resource at grades ranging from
1.77 to 2.85 carats per hundred cubic meters. Based on historic sales from
bulk sampling of both the Upper and Lower Gravel Packages, the average sales
price provided in the resource update is $466 per carat. Mining from the
Tirisano pit has primarily drawn from the Lower Gravel Package, and the
February's production and sales price are demonstrating the increased value
that can be expected from the processing of the deeper gravel package.
Etruscan Diamonds is presently undertaking a pre-feasibility study on the
project which is scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of 2008. The
pre-feasibility study is being led by MDM Engineering of South Africa. Upon
successful completion of the pre-feasibility study, a public offering is
planned together with an application for a stock exchange listing in order to
expand the Blue Gum Diamond Project production rate to 260,000 cubic meters of
gravel per month.
    Etruscan Diamonds is committed to building a vertically integrated
alluvial diamond company. Further to this objective, Etruscan Diamonds
recently formed a strategic partnership with African Romance, the first wholly
Black-owned South African diamond cutting and polishing company. African
Romance recently opened its new diamond cutting and polishing facility in the
Sandton district of Johannesburg ( African Romance
is fully compliant with the Kimberley Process and has pioneered a finger
printing bar code inscription system which tracks diamonds from point of
origin to finished product.
    Over the past six years Etruscan Diamonds has been acquiring strategic
properties in the Ventersdorp and Lichtenburg alluvial diamond districts,
located approximately 150 kilometers and 200 kilometers west of Johannesburg,
South Africa, respectively. Etruscan Diamonds presently holds two mining
permits and 13 exploration permits covering over 2,100 square kilometers.
Etruscan Diamonds has been actively exploring this land base to develop
additional gravel resources to fuel the future growth of the company.
    Robert Harris, P.Eng., Vice President of Operations of Etruscan, is the
Qualified Person overseeing production and development in West Africa and
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 gold mine development
projects include the Youga Gold Project in Burkina Faso (latest press release
March 2, 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 January 7, 2008). Advanced and early stage exploration projects
are on-going in Burkina Faso, Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Namibia (see
press dated November 12, 2007). Etruscan also has a 53.7% interest in Etruscan
Diamonds Limited which has a dominant land position in the Ventersdorp Diamond
District located in South Africa where it is developing the Blue Gum Diamond
Project (press release dated February 1, 2008). 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

    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 (
Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking


For further information:

For further information: Richard Gordon, Investor Relations, (877)
465-3674, Fax (902) 832-6702,

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