December 19, 2007

Stellar Diamonds Signs MOU Over Exploration Licences in the DRC

Mano River Resources Inc. (“Mano” or “the Company”), the TSX-V and AIM-listed exploration and development company is pleased to announce that its 68.5% owned subsidiary, Stellar Diamonds Limited (“Stellar”), has signed a memorandum of understanding (“MoU”) with BHP Billiton over exploration licences covering 10,852km2 in the north of the Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”).

  • MoU signed with BHP Billiton in the northern DRC, one of the least explored cratons in Africa
    • Licences cover 10,852km2, which Stellar believes is a prospective target area
    • Exploration to be co-funded after completion of a 500-tonne bulk sample by Stellar
    • Expected to commence Q1 2008
    • Targeting kimberlites in areas of active artisanal diamond mining

The Licences are subject to an existing Option Agreement between BHP Billiton and Socerdemi SPRL, a Congolese registered company which holds the Licences. The MoU entitles Stellar to earn 50% of the BHP Billiton entitlement in the project.

Under the Option Agreement, BHP Billiton has the right to either enter into a JV with Socerdemi and earn a 85% participating interest through funding exploration to completion of a feasibility study, or elect to purchase from Socerdemi 100% of the Licences at any time during the five year option period by paying to Socerdemi US$100,000. Socerdemi would then retain a 2% net profits royalty in any future diamond sales, which can equally be bought out by BHP Billiton for US$500,000.

This MoU will be conditional on a successful fund raising by Stellar.

The Socerdemi licences are located in close proximity to other licences covering 1,308km2 over which Stellar recently secured a MoU with Remec SPRL. The proximity of the two areas offers logistical benefits and synergies and helps to secure Stellar’s presence in the north of the DRC.

Separately Stellar announces that the planned IPO of the company is now scheduled for spring 2008.

Stellar’s CEO, Karl Smithson, commented:
“We are extremely pleased to enter this MoU with BHP Billiton. This further consolidates our position in the DRC and considerably strengthens our portfolio. The deal underpins our strategy of establishing a prominent land holding in prospective regions of northern DRC and further strengthens our existing relationship with BHP Billiton.”

Highlights of the Stellar — BHP Billiton MoU
Stellar can earn up to 50% of BHP Billiton’s entitlement in the project through funding exploration to the discovery of a diamondiferous kimberlite and the collection and processing of a 500 tonne bulk sample. A 50:50 Stellar-BHP Billiton Joint Venture would be set up following completion of the successful bulk sample and future exploration and development costs are expected to be co-funded 50:50 between Stellar and BHP Billiton. Should BHP Billiton elect not to co-fund, it would retain a 2% Gross Revenue Royalty upon dilution. Stellar would then take over the BHP Billiton Option Agreement with Socerdemi and either earn up to an 85% interest in the Licences through funding a feasibility study or acquire a 100% interest by paying US$100,000 to Socerdemi. Socerdemi would retain a 2% net profit royalty on future diamond sales should Stellar acquire a 100% interest, which royalty can be purchased by Stellar for US$500,000.

Geological Potential of northern DRC
The Socerdemi licences, which have been granted for diamonds, gold and nickel, are located in the north east of the DRC close to the town of Isiro. Alluvial artisanal diamond mining has been undertaken for many years in the region, but there has not been any reported exploration for the hard rock kimberlites sources using modern techniques, leaving the region largely unexplored. However, in the mid 1970s the Bureau de Recherces Géologiques et Minières did recover kimberlitic indicator minerals from the Panga area, which lies immediately to the south west of the BHPB Licences and within the Remec licence area.

Northern DRC hosts one of the last largely unexplored cratons in Africa for economic diamond bearing kimberlites. Diamonds were first discovered in this region in the 1920s and are still mined by artisans. The current Government reported annual diamond exports from the regional capital, Kisangani, are valued at over US$20million, with an average diamond value of over US$100 per carat.

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:

Mano River Resources Inc.
Luis da Silva
Tel +44 (0) 20 7299 4299

Stellar Diamonds Limited
Karl Smithson, CEO
+44 (0) 77 837 07971

Pelham PR Ltd
Charles Vivian/James MacFarlane
+44 (0) 20 7743 6670 / 6375

GMP Securities Europe LLP
James Hannon, an Appointed Representative of Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited.
Tel +44 (0) 20 7459 3606

Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited
Edward Farmer
Tel +44 (0) 20 7459 3600

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