| ||Fri Apr 23, 2004|
Diamond Fields / Samicor Joint Venture On Schedule To Commence Mining Operations In Namibia At The End Of May
| ||Vancouver, April 23, 2004 - Diamond Fields International Ltd. (TSX: DFI) is pleased to announce that all conditions precedent, including agreed mine plan, have been met in terms of the joint venture agreement with Samicor Mining Services (Pty) Ltd. ("Samicor") to carry out diamond mining operations on Diamond Fields' marine mining license ML111 located near Luderitz, Namibia. |
Diamond mining operations will utilize Samicor's chartered vessel mv Kovambo, which is equipped with the 3rd Generation Seabed Crawler ("SeaBed Crawler") and fully integrated diamond processing plant. Samicor is owned by LL Mining Corporation, the mining arm of the Leviev group of companies and one of the world's major diamond companies.
Samicor reports that the refurbishment and maintenance work program on the mv Kovambo in Cape Town harbour is progressing on schedule and commencement of mining operations by the beginning of June 2004 is anticipated.
The mv Kovambo is a 104 metre, 3,300 ton vessel equipped with an integrated mining and processing system developed at a cost of approximately US$30 million, including the upgraded SeaBed Crawler mining tool, launch, recovery and heave compensation equipment, a 50 ton per hour dense media processing plant, and a final recovery secured X-ray sorting plant. The SeaBed Crawler is a 160 ton remotely controlled tracked mining vehicle with very high production capacity.
The mining system installed on mv Kovambo has proved itself capable of very high consistent production levels in the geological conditions found in the Marshal Fork marine deposits. The SeaBed Crawler mining system was successfully deployed in Namco's (Namibian Minerals Corporation) Luderitz Bay Grant (ML51) license area which is immediately adjacent to Diamond Fields' Marshall Fork concession. It commenced mining operations in 1998 on Namco's cross border extensions to the Marshall Fork deposits, and in total produced approximately 400,000 carats of 95% gem quality diamond generating estimated revenue of US$60,000,000. Production from these extensions peaked at over 200,000 carats in 1999, including a single day when 16,271 carats were recovered.
"We are pleased with the continued cooperation between DFI and Samicor and are now looking forward to the start of diamond production in the Marshall Fork area. As previously stated, we believe the joint venture with Samicor will prove to be a powerful alliance between Diamond Fields International and one of the world's larger diamond conglomerates. This joint venture will optimize our high grade marine diamond concession by applying outstanding technology specifically designed to mine in the conditions found within our concession. We look forward to a significant increase in the level of diamond production from ML111, resulting in enhanced cash flow for the Company." says Mr. Gregg Sedun, President and CEO of Diamond Fields International. Pictures of the mv Kovambo and SeaBed Crawler can be found at www.diamondfields.com.
DIAMOND FIELDS INTERNATIONAL LTD.
"Gregg J. Sedun"
Gregg J. Sedun President and Chief Executive Officer
For further information contact Investor Relations (1-888-682-2113)
Statements in this release that are forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties concerning the specific factors identified in the Diamond Fields' periodic filings with Canadian Securities Regulators. Such forward-looking information represents management's best judgment based on information currently available. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed and actual future results may vary materially. Diamond Fields does not assume the obligation to update any forward-looking statement.
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