January 07, 2008
Exploration Program Update
TORONTO, ONTARIO - Tsodilo Resources Limited (the "Company" or "Tsodilo") (TSX Venture Exchange: TSD) is pleased to announce the results of its 2007 kimberlite exploration program; an update on the Base and Precious Metals exploration program; the appointment of Dr. Patrick M. Okita as Director for Base and Precious Metals Exploration; and, the grant of stock options pursuant to the Company's Stock Option Plan.
EXPLORATION PROGRAM UPDATE
The Company's Botswana licenses are proximal to two major unexplained surface concentrations of diamonds and G10 garnets across the border in Namibia, one near the village of Tsumkwe and another in the area known as Omatako. The characteristics of these kimberlite pathfinder mineral anomalies indicate that they are secondary concentrations derived from respective primary high-grade kimberlite sources located elsewhere. The geomorphological model envisages that the Tsumkwe and Omatako pathfinder anomalies were formed by ancient rivers transporting diamonds and garnets derived from kimberlites located in the Company's license blocks. Prior to the deposition of the superficial Kalahari sand that covers much of Ngamiland, this area formed a topographic high. Rivers rising off this high ground flowed westward into a major inland sea located in the north of present-day Namibia. The Company's diamond targets cover former headwaters of this ancient river system and lie within the southern margin of the Congo craton.
The 2007 drill program was completed in mid-December, and 15 target anomalies in the Nxau Nxau field have been confirmed as kimberlites. Currently, over 4,000 kimberlite indicator minerals ("KIM") from kimberlites A41, C15, A36, 1821C16, PD07, PD25, B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, B7, B8 and B9 as well as those from A15 are undergoing electron microprobe analysis to establish their chemical composition. In addition, a detailed petrography study is ongoing on core samples from these kimberlites for the purpose of determining their diamond-carrying potential. James M. Bruchs, President and CEO of Tsodilo, commented "A tremendous amount of work was completed in the field this past drill season, and while we are encouraged by what we see, it is taking time to process and analyze it accurately. Our goal is to select several kimberlites for macro diamond analysis in the coming season, based on their chemistry and petrographic descriptions. Our recent discoveries have added to our list of kimberlites which have to be tested for their economic viability." The continuous drill-confirmed discovery of kimberlites in the diamondiferous Nxau Nxau field demonstrates the ability of our exploration strategy to pinpoint kimberlite of very deep-seated origin in an extensional region with a suitably low geothermal heat flow, and bolsters Tsodilo's belief that its license blocks contain the source or sources of the alluvial deposits across the border in Namibia.
Select kimberlite samples from those bodies listed above were submitted to GEMOC (Macquarie University, Australia) for U-Pb dating. Suitable perovskites for analyses were found on several of the samples submitted, and U-Pb analysis of perovskites using an Agilent 7500s ICPMS attached to a New Wave Research UP-213 laser ablation micro sampling system established an age of 83.2 ± 1.2 Ma. According to Mr. Bruchs, "The age of the kimberlites in the Nxau Nxau field is encouraging as they are similar in age to the kimberlite events which took place in the Orapa kimberlite field in Botswana and economic kimberlites in Angola." Several other samples have been submitted for testing to determine conclusively the age of the kimberlites in the Nxau Nxau field to determine whether multiple kimberlite events exist.
Drill testing of approximately twenty-five (25) magnetic target anomalies to the east / northeast of the Nxau Nxau kimberlite field will commence in the 1st quarter of 2008 once the seasonal rains have ceased and ground magnetic surveys have been completed. The targets are situated in the Company's license blocks adjoining to the east those recently taken out by DeBeers Prospecting Botswana (Pty) Ltd, and were selected based on the screening of remote sensing and aeromagnetic data as well as geochemical data. The initial target selection was performed by Dr. Christopher M. H. Jennings during his tenure as Chairman of the Company, and was further defined, refined and prioritized by Scott Hogg of Scott Hogg & Associates Ltd., a Toronto-based geophysical contractor. The targets in these license blocks contain several clusters of bulls-eye circular features aligned along lineaments. These features possess characteristics consistent with known sub-Kalahari kimberlites and other kimberlites discovered by the Company elsewhere in its license blocks.
BASE AND PRECIOUS METAL EXPLORATION
A ground magnetic survey was completed in a grid over a suspected magmatic intrusion in the Gcwihaba license area in the northwestern part of Botswana using the Company's portable cesium magnetometer, Model G-859 Mineral Mag, manufactured by Geometrics. This target as well as other similar features was first identified through the interpretation of the aeromagnetic data supplied by the Geological Survey of Botswana. The survey area was a 10 km x 7.1 km grid conducted at a tight line spacing of 100 meters and collected at 10 meter station intervals to better define and interpret the NE-SW Gumare fault which lies less than 10 km north of the grid, and NW-SE Karoo dyke swarms associated with this intrusion. The survey was completed in just 46 days and 720 kilometers of data was collected requiring 57,600 total readings. Initial processing of the data can be view on the Company's website at /s/Imagery.asp at the section entitled - JB anomaly.
The results of a soil sampling program by the Government of Botswana show a high nickel kick associated with the dyke swarms surrounding this large intrusive body. Most nickel mineralization is associated with highly magnetic basic and ultrabasic rocks emplaced in orogenic belts and rifted plate margins and ocean basins. Examples of sulphide nickel deposits developed along extensive faults/suture zones include the Kambalda deposit in Western Australia; Hunters Road in Zimbabwe; the Noril'sk-Talnakh region in Siberia; and, Sudbury, Ontario. It is also important to note that the Jurassic Insizwa complex in South Africa is part of the Karoo Magmatic event with a setting similar to that of the intrusion being investigated by Tsodilo. Regional geological trends strongly suggest the continuation of the economically viable Matchless Amphibolite Belt (MAB) in Namibia across northwest Botswana. All of this is encouraging for the existence of significant nickel deposits in the Tsodilo survey area.
Two exploratory holes were commenced over this target at the end of the year but were abandoned due to technical difficulties and the onslaught of early rains. Geophysical modeling of the intrusive is still being performed and it is expect that drilling will recommence over this target in the 2nd quarter of 2008.
APPOINTMENT OF DIRECTOR - BASE AND PRECIOUS METALS EXPLORATION
Dr. Patrick M. Okita is an economic geologist with over 20 years of experience in the international mineral and energy industries. He has conducted exploration for and evaluated more than 25 industrial mineral, base metal, and energy commodities in Africa, North and South America, Asia, Australia, and the Middle East. Industrial minerals and unconventional energy have been major focuses, and Dr. Okita's experience ranges from basin wide and regional scale evaluations, through delineation drilling of reserves to feasibility studies. He has held technical and management positions with the U.S. Geological Survey and BHP Minerals (now BHP Billiton Plc). Dr. Okita is currently a principal with Upstream Resources LLC, where his efforts are directed at generating mineral exploration projects; executing definitive field mapping, drilling and sampling programs; negotiating asset agreements; and studying commodity markets worldwide. Commenting on the appointment,
Tsodilo's President and CEO, James M. Bruchs stated "We are delighted to have Dr. Okita join our team. Patrick brings impressive credentials and significant practical and management experience to our company which enhances our ability to meet the challenges of our Botswana Ngamiland projects. The area within our diamond license areas has been a recent focus of attention for base and precious metals as well as radioactive minerals, and his expertise will be invaluable in this effort. Companies of all sizes are busy exploring this part of Botswana, including not only junior companies like ourselves but also major companies such as Areva, the French public multinational industrial conglomerate that deals in nuclear power, and which holds extensive uranium exploration licenses within our diamond license areas. Having Dr. Okita on board keeps us competitive."
STOCK OPTION GRANTS
The Company reports that in terms of the Stock Option Plan of the Company and a policy adopted by the board of directors in September 2002, 210,000 stock options were granted to officers and senior employees / consultants on January 2, 2007 at CDN $0.70 per common share. These options are valid for five years and vest in four equal installments on January 2, 2008, July 2, 2008, January 2, 2009 and July 2, 2009.
Tsodilo Resources Limited is an international diamond exploration company engaged in the search for economic kimberlites at its Newdico (Pty) Limited ("Newdico') and Gcwihaba Resources (Pty) Limited ("Gcwihaba") projects in northwest Botswana. The Republic of Botswana is the leading producer of diamonds, by value, in the world and the world's second-largest producer by volume. Its mines are amongst the most profitable in the world and they are a member of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) which imposes extensive requirements on its members to enable them to certify shipments of rough diamonds as 'conflict-free'. The country is democratically ruled, boasting a growing economy and a stable political environment.
The Company has an 92% stake in Newdico (16,800 sq. km under diamond license) while Trans Hex Group, a South African diamond mining and marketing company, holds the remaining 8%. The southern Gcwihaba project area (6,703 sq. km under diamond license and 4,200 sq. km under base and precious metals licenses) is 100% held by the Company. Tsodilo manages the exploration of both the Newdico and Gcwihaba license areas. The design and conduct of the Company's exploration program is the responsibility of Macdonald Kahari. B.Sc. (Physics and Geology), M.Sc. (Exploration Geophysics), a qualified professional geologist registered with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions and a Qualified Person under NI 43-101 and he has reviewed and approved the contents of this release. The Company has offices in Toronto, Canada and Gaborone and Maun, Botswana. Please visit the Company's website, www.TsodiloResources.com, for additional information and background on our projects.
The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release. This news release may contain assumptions, estimates, and other forward-looking statements regarding future events. Such forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties and are subject to factors, many of which are beyond the Company's control, which may cause actual results or performance to differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
James M. Bruchs - President and Chief Executive Officer
E-Mail - JBruchs@TsodiloResources.com
Head Office - Telephone +1 416 572 2033 Facsimile +1 416 987 4369