February 07, 2001
Trans Hex International Ltd. Exercise Of Option And Completion Of Sampling Plant, Brazil
TRANS HEX INTERNATIONAL LTD. (CDNX: THI) is pleased to announce that it has exercised its option and vested its 50% interest in the Barra Grande alluvial diamond exploration project, in the Minas Gerais state of Brazil. Construction of a diamond recovery plant at the Barra Grande property was completed during January 2001 and treatment of gravels recovered from the first sample trench has commenced.
During November 2000, the Company met its expenditure commitment of US$2 million, as provided for in the Option Agreement, and exercised its option to vest its 50% project interest. The US$2 million has funded extensive regional and infill drilling, surface access compensation, the construction of a sampling plant and related facilities and excavation of the first trench. This work indicates total gravel resources of at least 100 million cubic metres within the three targets selected for sampling. Following the exercise of the Option, all rights, title and interest in and to the exploration permits, mining property and surface rights are being transferred to a company held jointly with Verena Minerals Corporation (each as to 50%). In terms of the Shareholders' Agreement, which was executed by both parties on January 29, 2001, the partners are required to fund ongoing expenditure in proportion to their respective interests.
The construction of a pan plant, with a design capacity of 15 tonnes-per-hour run-of-mine, and a slimes dam were completed during January 2001. During a visit to the site by both joint venture parties on January 28, 2001, commissioning of the pan plant and final recovery x-ray machine were substantially completed. Processing of the first sample commenced on January 29, 2001 and the diamond recovery plant is expected to run at full capacity by the end of February, once final adjustments and training of personnel are completed.
Initial results from this first trench, the first of the current sampling program designed to provide an initial estimate of diamond grades and values, are expected within 90-days. Processing of all of the gravels recovered from the first trench should be completed within six months.
Trans Hex International is an international diamond exploration company with interests in exploration projects and joint ventures in Brazil, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. The principal shareholder of the Company is Trans Hex Group Limited, a South African producer of high quality gem diamonds, with well established independent diamond marketing facilities. The design and conduct of the Company's exploration programs is the responsibility of Mr. Peter Walker, a professional geologist registered with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
D.M. (Niel) Hoogenhout - Chairman and C.E.O.
Peter D. Danchin - Chief Operating Officer
Peter W.A. Walker - Vice President, Exploration
Stephen Woodhead - Chief Financial Officer