April 18, 2005

Mano River Signs Diamond Joint Venture Agreement with African Aura Resources in Liberia

  • JV agreement signed over 400km2 of prime diamond-bearing Archaean terrain
  • Known kimberlite indicator minerals and significant alluvial diamond occurrences
  • Mano can earn up to 90% equity interest in the diamond rights of the property

Mano River Resources Inc. (“Mano” or “the Company”) is pleased to report its Mano Diamonds Division has signed a Joint Venture (“JV”) agreement with African Aura Resources (“AAR”) targeting diamonds over an area of 400km2 held by AAR in western Liberia. The JV property is located between two other Mano licence areas, namely, its 1,000km2 Bea Mountains Mineral Development Agreement and 15,000km2 Mineral Corporation Agreement, adding yet another quality asset to Mano’s prospective and comprehensive property portfolio. The JV Agreement remains subject to Ministerial approval.

Previous exploration work in the AAR property yielded abundant kimberlitic indicator minerals in close proximity to artisanal diamond mining activity, suggesting the presence of diamondiferous kimberlites within the licence. The Israel area in particular has been subjected to intensive diamond mining over the past 50 years, with at one time a reported 40,000 artisans being active. The samples surrounding the Israel area yielded abundant ilmenite grains, many of which had fresh surface textures indicating proximal kimberlite sources, which remain to be discovered.

The JV agreement entitles Mano to earn up to a 78% interest in the diamond rights of the property through the completion of a four-year, four-phase exploration programme comprising:

    Phase-1: Consolidation of previous exploration data and infill sampling in order to define anomalies for detailed follow up, within a period of 12-months. Mano will commit to a minimum expenditure of $125,000, and upon completion of this phase of work will have earned the right to proceed to Phase 2.

    Phase-2: A structured follow-up programme that may include detailed stream and loam sampling, airborne and/or ground geophysics and drilling of targets to define kimberlite pipes and/or dykes, within a period of 12-months, involving a minimum expenditure of $525,000. Upon completion of this phase, Mano will have earned a 46% equity interest in the diamond rights of the property.

    Phase-3: Subject to satisfactory results, Mano may elect to increase its interest in the diamond rights of the property to 64% through financing the completion of a bulk sampling programme, over one or more kimberlites considered to have economic potential, within a further period of 12-months.

    Phase-4: Mano can increase its interest in the diamond rights of the property to 78% through sole funding a feasibility study over one or more kimberlites considered to have economic potential, within a further period of 12-months.

Upon completion of the feasibility study, AAR may grant Mano the option to sole fund mine construction, which will result in Mano’s interest in the diamond rights of the property rising to 90%. The Government of Liberia will have a 10% Free Carried Interest in the mining venture, as stipulated by the Mining Law, and AAR will retain a 2.25% gross profits royalty on project diamond sales.

About Mano
Mano is a well-funded exploration company focused on the discovery of diamond and gold 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 the region has the potential to develop into a world-class diamond and gold-mining province. The Company has over 25,000km2 under licence, close to one million ounces of gold in resource, a cluster of diamondiferous kimberlite pipes in Liberia and joint ventures in place with, BHP Billiton, Trans Hex Group, Crown Diamonds, Golden Star and Navasota, which, once they are all fully exercised, will see a total of over US$16m in third party expenditure on Mano’s properties. With increasing market recognition of the recent positive evolution in the regional politics, Mano is starting to capitalise on its position as the pre-eminent diamond and gold explorer in the sub-region.

On behalf of the Board of Mano River Resources Inc.
Tom Elder
President and CEO

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
UK +44 (0) 1235 810 740

Raz Hussein
Controller
Canada +1 (604) 689 1700

Gary Middleton
St Swithins
UK +44 (0) 207 929 4391

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