March 29, 2006

Mano River and SearchGold Conclude Joint Venture in Guinea Aimed at Early Diamond Production

News Release No: 2006/5

  • Joint venture unifies Mano’s hard rock and SearchGold’s alluvial permits for diamonds in the Bouro district, Guinea
  • SearchGold scoping studies confirm high diamond grades in the Mandala alluvial deposits from Mano’s kimberlite dykes
  • Mano mini bulk tests have confirmed the high diamond grades reported by previous owner De Beers
  • Large-scale bulk testing by the Joint Venture is designed to lead to early diamond production from both alluvial and hard rock sources

Mano River Resources (“Mano” or “the Company”) has entered into a Joint Venture (“JV”) with SearchGold Resources (“SearchGold”) in Guinea. The objective of the JV is to rapidly establish alluvial diamond production on the Mandala property of SearchGold, whilst conducting bulk sampling to determine the economic potential of Mano’s adjacent high-grade Bouro kimberlite dykes. A budget of US$3 million has been assigned for the first year programme, to be funded 50/50 by Mano and SearchGold.

Under the Joint Venture, a two-pronged programme will be undertaken consisting of systematic delineation and bulk sampling of the Bouro kimberlite dykes, with particular priority emphasis on the Bouro North dyke, which Mano considers to have the highest grade potential based on work to date. This dyke has a strike length of 5 km, established by field mapping, drilling and geophysics.

Since acquiring the Bouro Permits in 2005, Mano carried out a programme of seven small macrodiamond confirmation mini-bulk samples which were positive at the three locations sampled along the Bouro North Dyke and the one location sampled on the Bouro Central Dyke as per the results in Table 2 below.

As part of the broader work programme, regional work will be carried out to locate more diamond bearing dykes and blows in all of these districts, which are indicated to be present on the basis of several significant alluvial deposits with no known source, as well as Mano/De Beers regional drainage sampling for kimberlitic indicator minerals (KIMs).

The Mandala Permits of SearchGold Resources cover alluvial deposits with very positive economic indicators, on the basis of systematic evaluations carried out in the late 1980s by well-respected international consultants, Placer Analysis Ltd. of Edinburgh, Scotland. Their work has established an non 43-101 compliant indicated resource of 547,000 carats at an average grade of 0.50ct/m2 (~0.71 ct/m3 or ~40cpht based on average gravel thickness of 0.7m) within four deposits covering 1,098,000 square metres. Overburden thickness is negligible at 4.5m on average for these deposits. This resource is non-compliant under 43-101 Canadian standards of reporting mineral resources.

Of critical importance is that the above alluvial deposits drain the lower grading Bouro Central and South dykes. The entire Mandala drainage basin was, however, subjected to exploration by Placer Analysis, and larger and higher grading inferred deposits totalling in excess of 2,000,000 carats were estimated in areas draining the Bouro North and Extreme North dyke systems. The JV intends systematically to verify and upgrade the resources to 43-101 standards on these other deposits, as part of their combined efforts.

A JV management committee has been appointed and database compilations have commenced, as well as personnel recruitment. Consultants are actively sizing, sourcing and procuring equipment to include rotary pan, dense media separation and x-ray modules in order to construct a state-of-the-art plant capable of bulk sampling both alluvial and kimberlite samples. This work will be supplemented by initial tests of the other alluvial deposits and kimberlite dykes on joint properties, and combined will allow for comprehensive financial assessments of the economic parameters for the establishment of a combined alluvial/hardrock mine.

Mano’s President and CEO, Dr. Tom Elder, comments: “These are exciting times for Mano. With our partners, SearchGold, we aim to establish our first commercial alluvial diamond operation in Guinea. Furthermore, this will be preceded by our first underground kimberlite diamond mine, in Sierra Leone, operated by our partners, Petra Diamonds, where initial diamond production is scheduled within the next few months.”

“Meanwhile drilling is ongoing at Mano’s Liberian clusters of kimberlites, at Weasua in joint-venture with Trans Hex Group, and at Camp Alpha under the Mineral Cooperation Agreement with the Ministry of Land Mines & Energy. Mano’s objective is to become an integrated diamond miner and explorer and we will continue aggressively to prospect our high priority licences in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.”

“In addition, Mano will advance its gold strategy and appoint, in the near future, technical consultants for a feasibility study, to fast-track into production by Q4/2007 its Liberian KGL project, to be renamed the ‘New Liberty Gold Mine’.”

Mano’s Qualified Person responsible for reviewing the content of this release is its President, Dr Tom Elder, who holds a BSc and Doctorate in Geology from Durham University in the UK, is a Fellow and former Member of Council of The Institution of Mining and Metallurgy and a Fellow of The Geological Society.

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

Tom Elder, President and CEO Mano River Resources Inc. +44 (0) 1235 810740

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

Jon Fitzpatrick, Bell Lawrie +44 (0) 141 221 7733

Raz Hussein, Controller Canada +1 (604) 689 1700

Notes to Editors

Mano’s Bouro Dykes:

Known since the 1960s, and the object of artisanal mining activity, these have received recent preliminary evaluation work by De Beers, which recovered in excess of 5,000 microdiamonds from their Kimberley Acid Laboratory that suggests high diamond grades at two locations on the Bouro North dyke (see Table 1).

Table 1: Results bulk diamond sampling of the Bouro North Dyke

Bouro North Dyke Bouro Extreme North Bouro Central Bouro South
Sieve Class (mm sq. mesh) Diamonds Number Weight of Diamonds (carats) Diamonds Number Weight of Diamonds (carats) Diamonds Number Weight of Diamonds (carats) Diamonds Number Weight of Diamonds (carats)
2.0 56 3.8036125 7 0.5048225 0 0 0 0
1.0 150 2.5824260 16 0.2933995 3 0.0550290 5 0.0843900
0.5 379 2.1359370 47 0.2576270 1 0.0053840 4 0.0213135
0.3 666 1.2071495 79 0.1450245 3 0.0062305 13 0.0268335
0.212 824 0.4857965 107 0.0640685 10 0.0057800 32 0.0186330
0.150 934 0.1760155 110 0.0212700 12 0.0020915 42 0.0073480
0.104 842 0.0511585 88 0.0052790 5 0.0003320 51 0.0031435
0.074 611 0.0116660 28 0.0006140 3 0.0000460 15 0.0003410
-0.074 179 0.0011280 8 0.0000540 1 0.0000010 2 0.0000180
Totals 4,641 10.4548915 490 1.2921590 38 0.0748940 164 0.1620205
Total Processed 1,920 kg 620 kg 627 kg 560 kg
Number of Sample Sites 11 3 3 3

The samples in Table 2 were of weathered surface material collected and weighed by hand in the field, which were jigged at 0.71mm mesh screen size to produce a concentrate. Concentrates were forwarded to Mineral Services Laboratory in Cape Town, South Africa for descriptions, measuring and weighing, which is summarized in the table. Note that no sieving was carried out. The diamonds are virtually entirely dodecahedron in crystal form, with the exception of two octahedral crystals, and four described as fragments. Colours are dominantly brown with subordinate (34%) white crystals, and 70 of the 76 (92%) diamonds are described as transparent. At three other locations, two on the Bouro South Dyke and one on the Bouro Extreme North dyke, no diamonds were found in the concentrate by Mineral Services.

Table 2: Results of Mano’s bulk diamond sampling of the Bouro dykes

Dyke/Sample Location (UTM East / UTM North) Sample Weight (wet) # Diamonds -0.71mm Diamonds +0.71-1.00mm Diamonds +1.0mm Diamonds Total Recovered Carats
Bouro North / Sample 004 465437E / 975165N 1.0 tonne 29 3 15 11 1.82500 carats
Bouro North / Sample 005 466894E / 975352N 1.0 tonne 22 10 3 9 1.24825 carats
Bouro North / Sample 006 462919E / 974703N 1.0 tonne 22 11 6 5 1.38255 carats
Bouro North Totals 3.0 tonnes 73 24 24 25 4.4558 carats
Bouro Central / Sample 002 464840E / 971316N 1.0 tonne 3 1 1 1 0.11725 carats

SearchGold’s Mandala Alluvial Deposits:

In 2003 and 2004, SearchGold proceeded with a large-scale bulk sampling of the Mandela alluvial resources. This work formed the basis of Peter Walker’s scoping study and the highlights of this programme include:

  • Recovery of 24,542 diamonds weighing 6,571.10 carats;
  • Processing of a total of 17,921.87 m3 of gravel at a mean grade of 0.37 cts/m3;
  • Confirmation of a mean value of 53.42 US$ per carat;
  • Confirmation of an updated non 43-101 compliant diamond resource of 535,162 carats of diamonds larger than 1.5mm in a 1,156,000 m2 area

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.

About SearchGold
SearchGold Resources is a Canadian based mining exploration company whose primary mission is to target, explore and develop gold and diamond deposits in Africa and in Canada. SearchGold’s project strategy maximizes its experience and resources, and supports the company’s commitment to strengthen shareholder value.

References in this News Release are made to historic work by the following Competent Persons (“CPs”) who have completed Competent Person’s Reports (“CPRs”), as defined under ‘AIM Rules for Companies’ in respect of standards of resource notification at the time of resource calculations. As noted above, these resources are non-compliant under Canadian 43-101 standards.

CP – Placer Analysis Limited
A company highly skilled in marine and non-marine diamond field evaluation and development managed by Donald Sutherland, a consultant specialising in diamond exploration and mining. Dr. Sutherland publishes in the Journals of the British and American Geological Societies.

CP – Peter Walker holds a B.Sc. in Geology as well as an MBA, both from Cape Town University in South Africa. Peter Walker has actively evaluated diamondiferous kimberlites and expanded the resources of existing mines.

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