TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 02/14/13 -- Delrand Resources Limited ("Delrand" or the "Company") (TSX: DRN)(JSE: DRN) provides an update on its diamond exploration activities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (the "DRC").
The northern DRC has a long history of good quality alluvial diamonds. To date, no primary sources, or kimberlites, for these diamonds have been found. Delrand, with its partner Rio Tinto, has prospected large areas in the provinces of Equateur and Orientale, and in more recent years this work focussed on the Coexco and Bomili exploration projects in the latter province.
Delrand's first-phase exploration program over the Coexco ground in the northern DRC was completed in 2009. The 44 Coexco exploration permit areas were covered by an initial reconnaissance program when stream samples were collected at a density of roughly one sample for every 20 to 25km2. Samples were screened to plus 0.4mm and minus 0.7mm. As previously reported, 12 of the 255 samples produced 15 diamonds and in addition, five ilmenites, 27 chromites (including nine from the diamond inclusion field) and one eclogitic garnet were also found in the samples. These positive results were restricted to 22 of the 44 Coexco permit areas.
A follow-up stream sampling program was conducted in 2011 over parts of these 22 exploration permit areas. Samples were collected on an approximate density of one sample every 5km2. As previously reported, this program produced 48 diamonds, 12 ilmenites, 21 chromites and 7 garnets. These results are highly anomalous for two reasons. Firstly, these positive samples are located in the same streams as the samples which produced positive results from the initial reconnaissance work and therefore confirm the existence of these anomalies. Secondly, the area of interest is covered by a thick laterite crust, up to at least 10 metres in thickness, masking the underlying geology, including kimberlites, but at the same time chemically etching and hence destroying the kimberlitic minerals otherwise trapped in these soils. The presence of kimberlitic minerals in stream or soils samples in these areas is therefore highly depressed. Interpretation of the reconnaissance and follow-up sampling results has identified six targets for further detailed follow-up work on the Coexco permit areas and three targets on the Bomili permit areas just north of the Coexco ground.
A detailed stream sampling program covering these nine targets with some close spaced sampling was conducted in the second half of 2012. Results are only available for the first two targets, but Rio Tinto has decided to withdraw from the Coexco and Bomili projects. Delrand will continue with these highly prospective targets on the Coexco and Bomili properties until all results are available, and the next steps are dependent upon the results of this phase of sampling and could include geophysics and drilling. The six remaining targets on the Coexco ground have further reduced the number of permits from 22 to eight.
Some other high-interest targets have also been identified in Province Orientale by Delrand and will be pursued in partnership with Rio Tinto once the Department of Mines (CAMI) in Kinshasa, DRC opens for new applications.
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