Diamonds is a facinating subject and are "a girl's best friend" and a "man's pain in the pocket"



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The diamond industry in Liberia and Sierra Leone offer excellent opportunities as there are (too) many who still believe the wars are going on in those countries. Perception is Reality for them. In 2000 peace came to Sierra Leone and since then it stayed calm and the country is back on its feet. Liberia finally got rid of the war by August 2003 and with 16,000 UN peacekeeping troops, stability is guaranteed for the coming 5 years. Presently there is a UN embargo on logging and diamonds but it is expected that the ban will be lifted in June 2006. It was for that reason that Barbara Bush and Gondoleeza Rice witnessed the presidential inauguration of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf on 16 January 2006.

    Diamonds is a facinating subject and are "a girl's best friend" and a "man's pain in the pocket". There are many shady characters in this business and one has to be very careful. We are able to purchase legal quality gems in any carat with official certifcates from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The best stones came from Liberia (embargo) but Sierra Leone has the lead. Guinea has the biggest resources but has not yet been developed properly. The advantage in those countries is that the stones are reasonably surfacial, so one does not have to dig deep. That is why there are so many small scale miners and even more small traders. But number one is to deal with reliable parties and to have proper security. There is only one way to do this properly and that is through the legal system with official documents.

    The carat price of diamond varies with stone quality and size. For example a diamond weighing 2.5 carats and another weighing 10 carats will be priced differently per carat just because of that difference in their sizes. Also a pure 3 carats stone will be more expensive in price than a burnt 8 carat stone per carat. What we learn from above examples is that only when we are in the presence of the miners/dealers we will determine at what price per carat we will buy each stone or a parcel of diamonds. As a guide stones rage in sizes from 0.03 carats to about 20.0 carats per single stone. Common sizes are always between 0.2 to 5.0 carats single stone. Various factors that affect the price apart from the size - the clearity, purity, etc. - and one needs to know all these things before even thinking of starting a diamond business. These factors affect the buying prices and also the selling price!

Diamond occurs in two principal areas in Liberia—in alluvial terrace gravels in the Gbapa area, which is located about 35 km south of Nimba and Yekeba on the northern border with Guinea, and within a large (approximately 60-km-wide and 120-km-long) area roughly between the Lofa River and the Mano and Morro Rivers along the western border with Sierra Leone. The latter area encompasses the Liberian counties of Gbarpolu, Grand Cape Mount, and Lofa. This region is part of the Mano Craton of West Africa, which is a northeasterly trending geologic structure that generally follows the same trend as the local watersheds, such as the Lofa and Mano Rivers. The Mano Craton contains the principal diamond-bearing rocks, generally of Jurassic Age (130 to 150 million years old), of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The kimberlites in the Weasua area, however, have been dated at 800 million years old. All diamond production in Liberia comes from artisanal alluvial mining. Between 1960 and 1980, official production and export statistics of Liberia ranged from 300,000 to 900,000 carats per year. During much of this period, however, Liberia was a U.S. dollar currency zone, and it is suspected that the statistical data included diamond from neighboring countries that was taken across the border in search of the harder currency available in Liberia. Liberian production data for the 1980-90 period of 100,000 to 430,000 carats per year is probably more reflective of Liberian domestic artisanal mining productive capacity. In the few months of 2001 before the sanctions on diamond from Liberia were imposed by UNSC Resolution 1343 (2001), Liberia officially exported 3,781 carats of rough diamond. Since then, no diamond has been exported. UN sanctions and Kimberley Process restrictions have shut down the artisanal mining of diamond. However, under new legislation, once sanctions are lifted, the Government has mandated the formation of artisanal cooperatives similar to those that are in place in Sierra Leone.

According to the November 2004 UN Panel of Experts report on Liberia, a large Class B alluvial diamond mine that employed 150 workers and was owned by Jungle Waters was operating in the Gbapa-Nimba County area. Following a cave-in that cost the lives of several diggers in November 2004, the mine was closed by the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy. The ban on new mining licenses and on diamond prospecting has limited the work of the two main international exploration companies in Liberia, Mano River Resources and Diamond Fields. Some exploration work, however, was allowed to continue under terms of the Mineral Development Agreements. Diamond Fields held a 100% interest in the Nimba concession and an option agreement with Ducor on Docor’s Gbapolu concession in Grand Cape County. In March 2005, Diamond Fields announced that recent loam and stream sediment sampling had identified five priority kimberlitic targets within the Grand Cape concession.

Mano River Resources holds a 25-year Mineral Development Agreement for 200 km2 on the Kpo Range area of the Bea Mountains in Grand Cape County. Under a joint-venture agreement with the Trans Hex Group of South Africa, the companies had discovered a number of kimberlites with a focus on the Mano Godua and Mabong and Yambessi Valleys sites. Mano River Resources reported that “Trans Hex can earn a 50% interest in the Kpo license by investing US$2.1 million in a two-phase 3-year program. Thereafter, Mano River Resources can maintain its contributing interest at 50% or offer Trans Hex the opportunity to increase its equity to 69% by funding feasibility and construction”. As of January 2005, Mano River Resources had discovered five kimberlite pipes in the Weasua area of the Kpo license. Three of these pipes were confirmed by test work at Lakefield laboratory in Toronto as diamondiferous and two were estimated to have substantial surface areas of approximately 4 hectares. In addition, numerous high interest indicator mineral anomalies in the Weasua area remained unresolved, which indicated that additional pipes may remain to be discovered in the cluster. Mano River Resources assisted the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy by establishing a heavy-mineral sample preparation lab at the Liberian Geological Survey offices in Monrovia. American Mining Associates (an American-owned company) also held an exploration license for diamond north of Lofa Bridge in Grand Cape County.

OPPORTUNITIES IN LIBERIA The Liberian diamonds are no longer under embargo. Now is the best time to obtain concessions and due to our strategic position we are able to get the best possible concessions. The great advantage is that our group knows the country and its history.

OPPORTUNITIES IN GUINEA For Guinea we have a business plan for the establishment of Joint Ventures in a high grade field. If of interest we can provide a recently developed business plan with a geologic study from the Ministry of Mining for this concession.


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