Mr. Pierre Léveillé, President of Afri-Can Marine Minerals Corp. (“Afri-Can”), is pleased to announce the local economic development in South Africa and completion of an aerial survey and of a marine geophysical survey of Block B as well as the start of a geophysical survey of Block J. Both these license areas are located north of Luderitz, Namibia.
Block B measures 250 sq. km, has a 48.5 km-long coastline and extends from the coastline seaward to between 5 and 7 km. Marine & Coastal Geoscience (Pty) Ltd. of South Africa (“Marine & Coastal”) conducted the aerial survey because of the impossibility of the survey vessel to approach the shoreline at depths of five meters or less. The aerial survey covered a width of 1 km along the 48.5 km coastline where images of the sub-marine geology were produced at a resolution of 4 meters per pixel and indicate that the most prospective area stretches northward from the southern end of Block B for 35 km along the coast. This area is characterized by a rocky, rugged coastline with inlets, bays and headlands which may be indicative of potential diamond traps. The results of this aerial survey will be combined with those from the marine geophysical survey.
Marine & Coastal has completed the marine geophysical survey, and the preliminary processing on the side-scan sonar data has shown three prominent areas that may have a potential for diamond entrapment:
* Nearshore sedimentary deposit: at the southern end of the license area, a nearshore sedimentary deposit of approximately 8 sq. km was identified. This feature is fringed by NNW-SSE trending depressions and gullies, some of which are more than 1 km long.
* Bedrock trapsites: an area of approximately 30 sq. km extending from the coastline out to 3 km offshore is characterized by good trapsite potential with many shallow sediment patches overlying rugged bedrock.
* Shallow depressions: an area of approximately 10 sq. km extending from the coastline out to 2 kilometers offshore appears to have thin, basinal sediment cover. The sediments appear to cover shallow depressions that are potential depositional trapsites.
These initial findings are based only on the digital side-scan sonar imagery. Marine & Coastal will also complete the bathymetric and seismic interpretations within 60 days. The next exploration phase planned is a prospecting sampling of the feature targets delineated in the geophysical and areal surveys.
The survey on Block J will begin on January 12th and will be carried out on the prospective shoreward (150 sq. km) underlain by crystalline bedrock and thin sediment cover. This area contains the potential for diamondiferous deposits that match the geological models of the surrounding producing mining licenses. The survey plans to collect 950 line-km of high-resolution geophysical data. The interpretation will include an evaluation of depositional environments with potentially diamondiferous sediments and the delineation of sampling targets.
Blocks J & B lie on the northern boundary of the known rich diamondiferous deposits currently being mined along the south and central Namibian West Coast. To the south of these projects, an inferred resource exceeding 4.25 million carats has been estimated for the region between Halifax and Mercury Islands (Marine & Coastal, June 6, 2000). Block J lies approximately 10 km west of Namco’s Mercury Island mining license area (ML 36) and is adjoined to the south by Namibian Minerals Corporation’s (Namco) property (EPL 1950), which has a published resource of 653,000 carats (BOE Securities, October 26, 1999).
Afri-Can Marine Minerals Corp. is a Canadian company, actively involved in the acquisition, exploration and development of major diamond properties. The corporation’s large and prospective license holdings, together with its growth strategy, place it among the important participants in the marine diamond business. Afri-Can’s shares are listed on the Montreal Stock Exchange under the symbol “AFA”.