February 27, 2006

Mano Nearing Diamond Production from its Kono Joint Venture with Petra in Sierra Leone

  • Initial production facilities to be commissioned by end March 2006
  • Diamond recovery from first bulk samples planned by June 2006
  • Geological samples taken by Petra from various kimberlite dykes in the area have returned very encouraging results

Mano River Resources Inc (“Mano” or “the Company”) announces that all programmes in Kono Sierra Leone are on track and on budget for diamond recovery by June 2006, from treatment of initial bulk samples. This follows the completion of Petra’s $3 million investment required to vest its 51% interest in the joint venture company, Basama Diamonds Ltd, which holds the Kono licences.

Experienced mining and engineering personnel from Petra’s South African operations have been based in Sierra Leone since the third quarter of 2005. They first of all carried out an aggressive programme in the latter part of 2005 to access and further explore the Lion 1, 2, 3 and 5 kimberlite dykes. Pitting and trenching prior to final selection of intrusion points (i.e. location of shaft collars for mining) revealed very encouraging results, with dyke widths of 1.7, 1.2 and 0.4 metres having been exposed on Lion dykes 1, 2 and 3 respectively.

The necessary equipment to establish initial facilities on site has been shipped and remains on track to be commissioned on site by end of March 2006.

The manufacture in South Africa of the diamond recovery plant, including the crushing circuit, DMS (dense medium separation) plant and final recovery unit, has been completed on schedule and has been shipped.

Simultaneously, further geological exploration work is being undertaken for the many kimberlite dykes known to exist on Mano’s three licences in the Kono region. In this respect, high-resolution satellite imagery (Quickbird) images are awaited to assist in this aspect.

During the course of the past year numerous geological samples have been taken from various kimberlite dykes in the area. These have been processed at Petra’s laboratory facility at the Helam mine in South Africa, with mineral probing having been done at Mineral Services in Cape Town. This data has returned some very encouraging results and has been used to assist in prioritising the location of selected intrusion points.

Mano’s President and CEO, Dr Tom Elder, commented:

“We are very pleased with the rapid progress Petra has made in moving the first of Mano’s kimberlite dykes in Kono towards diamond production. Petra’s ability to call on a substantial pool of highly experienced exploration and mining personnel from their three South African dyke-mining operations has undoubtedly been a key factor.

“Mano also applauds the fact that, in parallel with the technical programme, Petra has expended considerable effort in establishing harmonious relations with Kono area Chiefs and Elders and the local populace in general.

“The acceleration of the programme is excellent news, especially since at the immediately adjacent Energem dyke/pipe mining operation the diamonds being produced are currently reported to be selling for well in excess of $200 per carat”


For further information on Mano River Resources and its exploration programme, you are invited to visit the Company’s website at www.manoriver.com or contact one of the following:

Tom Elder President and CEO
Mano River Resources Inc.
UK +44 (0) 1235 810 740

Justine Howarth/Ana Ribeiro
Parkgreen Communications
+44 (0) 20 7493 3713

Jon Fitzpatrick
Bell Lawrie UK
+44 141 221 7733

Raz Hussein
Controller Canada
+1 (604) 689 1700

Notes for Editors

About Petra Diamonds
Petra Daimonds is a diamond mining group focused on the exploration and mining of diamonds in Africa. Its strategy is to build a portfolio of revenue producing and exploration assets, achieving the objective of becoming a successful mid-tier diamond producer and explorer with operations in Angola, Botswana, South Africa and Sierra Leone. Quoted on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and listed on the ASX, Petra is well placed to achieve spectacular results from the increasingly robust market for diamonds. The merger in 2005 with ASX-listed Crown Diamonds creates a new force in the diamond industry. Petra’s exploration activities in Angola yield ever more exciting results and the South African operations will produce around 200,000 carats in the financial year-end 2005/6 giving the group healthy production revenues.

About Mano River Resources
Mano is an exploration company focused on the discovery of diamond, gold and iron ore deposits in the Archaean terrain of the highly prospective, under-explored, West African Mano River Union countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. Mano considers that the region has the potential to further develop into a world-class diamond and gold mining province. The Company presently has some 25,000km2 under mineral licence, promising gold prospects in all three countries, certainly one and possibly a second cluster of diamondiferous pipes in Liberia, and joint ventures in place with BHP-Billiton, Golden Star Resources, Navasota, Petra Diamonds and Trans Hex Group.

The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not take responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release