HomeCentral AfricaBRC DiamondCore and Rio Tinto in DRC joint venture

BRC DiamondCore and Rio Tinto in DRC joint venture

BRC DiamondCore
Mike de Wit
Toronto, Canada — MININGREVIEW.COM — 04 February 2010 – BRC DiamondCore Limited “’ an African-focused diamond explorer with projects in the Democratic Republic of  Congo (DRC) “’ has entered into an agreement with leading international mining group Rio Tinto Minerals Development Limited for the exploration of  iron ore in areas in the country’s Province Orientale.

A BRC statement released here revealed that these areas totaled approximately 4550 squ km, and were covered by exploration permits in which the diamond and iron ore rights had been controlled by the company.

It added that under the JV agreement, BRC would own 25% of the share capital of the joint venture company which holds the permits, with Rio Tinto owning 75% of the share capital. This structure was expected to be implemented by the end of February 2010, and BRC would retain the diamond rights.

The statement explained that under the JV agreement, all iron ore exploration up to and including the completion of any feasibility study would be funded by Rio Tinto. The exploration would be carried out by Rio Tinto or one of its affiliates as operator.

It went on to say that after the completion of any feasibility study, funding for the project was to be provided by Rio Tinto and BRC on a pro rata basis as per their respective interests in the joint venture company.

Initial geological research and exploration indicates that the permit areas are highly prospective for the discovery of iron ore deposits. As part of the 2010 exploration programme, Rio Tinto plans to undertake a reconnaissance drill programme over the permit areas.

Commenting on the JV agreement, BRC president Mike de Wit said: “This strengthens the existing relationship between the two companies. We are very pleased to have Rio Tinto as our partner in the DRC for both our diamond and now iron ore exploration programmes, and that these programmes are well funded through the Rio Tinto/BRC joint venture.”