Production surpasses US$3.3 Million at Etruscan's Blue Gum Diamond Project

    HALIFAX, June 13 /CNW/ - Etruscan Resources Inc. (EET.TSX) reported today
that significant progress is being achieved by its 54% owned subsidiary,
Etruscan Diamonds Limited ("Etruscan Diamonds") on the Blue Gum Diamond
Project located in the alluvial diamond district of Ventersdorp in South
Africa. Operations continue with 5,465 carats recovered from 209,231 cubic
meters of gravel with an average rough tender value of US$613 per carat,
aggregating US$3,350,000 for the period December 2007 to May 2008. Delivery
and installation of the new pre-screener unit by the end of this month will
improve plant throughput by increasing pre-screening capacity from 1,000 cubic
meters per day to 10,000 cubic meters per day. The Blue Gum pre-feasibility
study for expanded production to 260,000 cubic meters per month is expected by
the end of August. This study will incorporate an updated resource estimate
that will take into account in-fill and deeper drilling that should provide
for conversion of a higher percentage of inferred resource into the indicated
resource classification. Exploration planning is focused on additional
sinkhole targets outside of the Blue Gum project area.

    Kevin MacNeill, President of Etruscan Diamonds Limited., stated:

    "We are pleased with the way operations are currently ramping up at the
    Blue Gum Project. We are looking forward to completing the pre-
    feasibility study 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 month.

    However, what is most exciting to me about the Blue Gum Project is the
    potential for additional resource beyond that identified in the National
    Instrument 43-101 Report prepared in January of this year by Dr. Tania
    Marshall of Explorations Unlimited. As Dr. Marshall states in her 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.
    And these gravel bearing sink hole features are not limited to the Blue
    Gum property. We have already identified sink hole features on other
    properties which appear to be larger in size than the current sink holes
    being mined on Blue Gum. Over the coming months we will continue to
    explore and drill these sink hole features to determine the size of the
    gravel content."

    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 period December 2007 to
May 2008 was 209,231 cubic meters yielding 5,465 carats for an overall grade
of 2.61 carats per hundred cubic meters and a rough tender average value of
$613 per carat. A total of 3,880 carats have been sold on rough tender and,
consistent with the objective of creating a vertically integrated company,
763 carats were delivered to Etruscan Diamonds' strategic partner, African
Romance of South Africa, for cutting and polishing. African Romance is the
first wholly Black-owned South African diamond cutting and polishing company
and recently opened its new diamond cutting and polishing facility in
Johannesburg. Cutting, polishing, certification and sale of the Etruscan
Diamond stones is presently underway. Based on industry experience, we believe
diamond cutting and polishing can add substantial value to the rough tender
diamond prices.
    The ramp up at the Tirisano DMS plant and the new pan plants is
continuing and the facility is targeted to achieve the forecast production
rate of 100,000 cubic meters per month in July. 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. This is scheduled to be delivered to site by the end of June. A
commercial scale pre-screening unit will also being installed this month.
Current pre-screening capacity is limited to 1,000 cubic meters per day which
limits plant throughput. The installation of the larger pre-screening unit
will increase the pre-screening capability 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 Diamond is presently completing a pre-feasibility study on the
viability of expanding the operations on the Blue Gum 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.
    In early 2008 an updated diamond resource estimation for the Blue Gum
Diamond Project was completed by Dr. Tania Marshall of Explorations Unlimited.
The updated National Instrument 43-101 compliant report estimated that the
Blue Gum Project contains 20.5 million cubic meters of indicated diamond
resources and 17 million cubic meters of inferred diamond resources at grades
ranging from 1.77 to 2.85 carats per hundred cubic meters. This independent
resource was based on drilling completed to the end of 2007 and relied
primarily upon drilling from surface which was often limited by drill capacity
to depths of less than 100 vertical meters. Many holes therefore ended in
gravel and never reached bedrock making volume estimations of gravel at depth
uncertain. Of the 2426 holes in the Blue Gum project database, 626 holes (25%)
were unable to reach bedrock and ended in gravels. Etruscan Diamonds is
presently undertaking additional deeper drilling to better define the bedrock
interface and quantify the gravel volumes in these areas. In-fill drilling
will also allow for more of the existing inferred resource to be converted to
indicated resource that can be utilized for pit optimizations to determine
mineable reserves. The results from this additional drilling will be included
in an updated resource estimate for the Blue Gum Project expected to be
completed in August 2008.
    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 current
market conditions, this has been delayed until the fall assuming more
favourable market conditions. This decision to delay the financing will allow
Etruscan Diamonds to include the results of the more recent drilling and
updated resource calculation in the pre-feasibility study which is now
scheduled to be released in late August 2008.

    Other Regional Exploration

    In January 2008, Etruscan Diamonds was successful in securing prospecting
permits over an additional 1,530 square kilometers in the Ventersdorp
District. There are several sink holes features that have been identified to
date on these permits, some of which appear larger at surface than the current
Blue Gum Project and have been designated as priority exploration targets. The
most advanced target is a project called Twee Beffels Geschiet (Shot Two
Buffalo's) that is currently being explored and prepared for drilling. Surface
owner access rights are presently being secured in order to enable Etruscan
Diamonds to carry out exploration to determine gravel content of the other
sink holes.
    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 gold mine development
projects include the Youga Gold Project in Burkina Faso (latest press release
June 5, 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 May 6, 2008). 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. 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: from Etruscan contact: Richard Gordon, Investor
Relations, (877) 465-3674, Fax: (902) 832-6702,; on
Etruscan Diamonds Ltd. Contact: Kevin MacNeill, President, Etruscan Diamonds
Ltd., +011 27 18 264 4627,

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