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TAW - Tawana Resources NL - Open Briefing. Progress on Main Projects

Release Date: 29/05/2007 07:42:53      Code(s): TAW
TAW - Tawana Resources NL - Open Briefing. Progress on Main Projects            
Tawana Resources NL                                                             
(Incorporated in Australia)                                                     
(Registration number ACN 085 166 721)                                           
Share code on the JSE Limited: TAW & ISIN: AU000000TAW7                         
Share code on the Australian Stock Exchange Limited: TAW & ISIN: AU000000TAW7   
("Tawana" or "the Company")                                                     
Date of lodgement:  29-May-2007                                                 
Title: Open Briefing. Tawana Resources. Progress on Main Projects               
Record of interview:                                                            
Tawana Resources N.L. (ASX code: TAW) is exploring for diamonds in South Africa,
Botswana and Australia.  What are your immediate priorities for growing the     
Company and what activity has the potential for significant impact?             
MD Wolf Marx                                                                    
Tawana has identified several kimberlite targets and is poised to begin an      
active program of trial mining, bulk sampling or exploration drilling on ground 
in South Africa, Botswana and Australia.  Kimberlites, of course, are the less  
risky type of targets for diamond exploration.                                  
After an extended period of application, waiting and planning dating back to    
2004 we were recently awarded mining rights in South Africa and exploration and 
prospecting rights in Botswana.                                                 
Our immediate priority is the Kareevlei Wes project in South Africa where we    
will soon begin trial mining. This is an important milestone which, if          
successful, could significantly transform the company.                          
We will also seek opportunities for growth via acquisition and/or strategic     
partnering.  We already have alliances in place with DeBeers in Australia, and  
BHP Billiton and Guma Resources in South Africa.                                
Tawana will soon commence trial mining at Kareevlei Wes (TAW: 74%).  What is    
known about the prospect so far and why has it encouraged you to advance to     
trial mining?                                                                   
MD Wolf Marx                                                                    
The work we`ve done there over the last few years involved definition drilling  
with large diameter percussion holes and followed that up with bulk sampling by 
Bauer drilling.  This work indicated that 2 of the 5 known kimberlites are      
potentially economic based on the valuations of the diamonds we recovered.      
These values range from US$110-170 per carat and the indicated grades were      
around the 11 carat per tonne mark.  The diamonds we recovered are high quality 
with gem diamonds representing 80% of the parcel.                               
The Kareevlei Wes project, with that combination of diamond value and grade     
could be economic given the cost of mining in South Africa.  If we can firm up  
the diamond values and grades with trial mining then at least two of the pipes  
should be economic to mine.                                                     
Can you provide more details on the objectives and timing of the trial mining at
Kareevlei Wes?                                                                  
MD Wolf Marx                                                                    
The main objective of the trial mining is to firm up the grade and diamond      
values so that we can put a resource figure on the project.  Tawana already owns
a 30 tonnes per hour Dense Media Separation (DMS) and that plant has been moved 
onto the site.  Tawana`s operators and management staff have already started the
process of constructing and recommissioning the plant.  We expect that to be    
completed early in the September 2007 quarter.                                  
The excavation of the 20,000 tonnes of kimberlite that we`re planning to process
during the trial mining is scheduled to commence in the September quarter and we
expect the processing to be completed by end 2007, at which time we`ll make a   
decision on the future of the project.                                          
In May 2007, Tawana announced that it had been granted a Prospecting Licence    
over BK19-BK26 kimberlite cluster in Botswana (BK Project).  Where is the       
cluster situated?  What is the history of the broader area?                     
MD Wolf Marx                                                                    
The BK Project is situated in the midst of the Orapa kimberlite field in the    
northeast of Botswana.  The Orapa field hosts the Orapa, Letlhekane and Damshaa 
diamond mines, all owned by De Beers.  Our project is about 6 kilometres from   
Damshaa and about 15 kilometres from Orapa.                                     
Most of the kimberlites in the Orapa field were discovered by De Beers in the   
1960`s and 1970`s.  Since then the technologies, particularly in geophysical    
understanding and interpretation, have progressed enormously.                   
This has led to a deeper understanding of the nature of the kimberlites and to a
re-interpretation of them.                                                      
The Botswana Government, particularly in the last ten years or so, has required 
De Beers to relinquish some of the ground containing kimberlites that it has    
held since the 1960`s.  Some of these kimberlites were known to be              
diamondiferous and some form part of our BK Project.  Other companies such as   
African Diamonds Plc. and Firestone Diamonds Plc. have been successful in       
upgrading the potential of some known kimberlites and in discovering others.    
How many of the kimberlites at the BK Project have been tested for diamonds.    
How many are diamondiferous?  What is the forward plan?                         
MD Wolf Marx                                                                    
Only one of the 8 kimberlites in BK19-BK26 cluster has been tested by De Beers  
for diamonds so far.  That was BK24 and it was shown to be diamondiferous       
although De Beers considered it too low grade and small to be commercial.  The  
other kimberlites in that cluster were also considered by De Beers to be too    
small, but our interpretation of the geophysical data that we`ve already        
reprocessed using modern techniques shows some of them to be much larger.       
The excitement of this is that we have many kimberlites to explore that have    
clearly been misinterpreted by old data.  Ground-based geophysical surveys are  
underway and drilling and trenching to establish the size of the kimberlites and
diamond tenor will commence in the September quarter.                           
When do you expect to start bulk sampling at Riverton near Kimberley?  What is  
the difference in scale between bulk sampling and trial mining?                 
MD Wolf Marx                                                                    
The bulk sampling at Riverton will commence in the September quarter with more  
or less the same timing as Kareevlei Wes.  We have another DMS plant which we`ll
be moving to site during the current quarter.  The difference between bulk      
sampling and trial mining is simply a matter of scale.  For the bulk sampling   
program at Riverton we`re planning to process 2,000 tonnes of kimberlite, as the
first phase, to establish indicative grade and diamond quality.                 
What are the indicators for the presence of diamonds so far at Riverton?  Can   
you describe the wider Kimberley region and where Riverton sits?                
MD Wolf Marx                                                                    
The Riverton kimberlite was mined by small scale diamond miners in the early    
1990`s and although no records were kept of that mining, we did have discussions
with diamond buyers in Kimberley who indicated that good quality and good size  
diamonds were recovered from the kimberlite including ones with special colours.
That`s a good indication for us although we won`t know the grades and quality   
until we have the results of the bulk sampling.                                 
The Kimberley region is similar to the Orapa field in that it hosts many        
kimberlites with a high proportion of those kimberlites being diamondiferous and
with a high proportion of those being mines.  The ratio of economic deposits to 
barren kimberlites is much greater than in any other region in the world.  In   
the town of Kimberley there are 9 kimberlites and all are diamondiferous and all
of them have been mined at some stage.  Some of them have been mined for over a 
century and five were mined by De Beers with the last mine closed last year.    
It`s a phenomenal area for Tawana to explore for diamonds.  The Riverton        
kimberlite is in this region and is only 25 kilometres north of Kimberley.      
How are you fostering relationships with Black Empowerment Enterprises (BEE) in 
South Africa?  What are your obligations?  What projects are you developing?    
MD Wolf Marx                                                                    
Our original BEE partner was Seven Falls which is a privately-owned company with
several prominent people in the business and political world in the Kimberley   
region and South Africa generally.  We formed a joint venture with Seven Falls  
over the projects we held at that time.  This relationship has led to us being  
introduced to other black-owned companies and has exposed us to many new        
opportunities.  We now also have a strategic alliance with one of the most      
successful black-owned companies, Guma, introduced to us by Seven Falls.  This  
alliance provides Tawana with a partner with considerable financial strength and
the ability to introduce resources projects to Tawana which we assess on a      
technical basis.   If we think projects are worth following up we recommend the 
process for moving it ahead and the equity levels for Guma and Tawana are       
determined by separate joint ventures over each project.  It`s an innovative and
unique black empowerment structure that we have formed.                         
Can you explain the status of Tawana Alluvials, Daniel Alluvials and the Daniel 
Kimberlite Project and the relationship between the projects?                   
MD Wolf Marx                                                                    
These projects are some 150 kilometres west of Kimberley, and originated from   
our Joint Venture with BHP Billiton.  BHP Billiton had flown its Falcon aerial  
survey around the De Beers-owned Finsch diamond mine and they invited us into a 
joint venture to explore these targets.  The first thing we discovered was a    
large alluvial deposit south of the Finch mine.  That deposit was split into two
areas, one of which we call the Tawana Alluvials (TAW: 70%).  This area         
incorporates the Feeder Channel and the Eastern Gravels which flow directly from
the Finch mine.  We discovered these deposits by drilling and bulk sampling and 
they were shown to contain diamonds throughout the deposit.  As they were       
discovered by methods not involving the Falcon technology, BHP transferred its  
equity to Tawana.                                                               
The Tawana Alluvials contain in the region of 200 million tonnes with very      
little overburden.  We are in the process of talking with alluvial diamond      
mining specialists to bring them in as partners to try and take that project    
It would be a very exciting project for an experienced operator who could       
introduce a large bulk mining process.                                          
The Daniel Kimberlite project (TAW: 22.2%) is ongoing and is the original focus 
of the BHP Billiton/Tawana Joint Venture.  We have drilled about 30 of the      
Falcon targets and have discovered 3 new kimberlites so far, which shows that   
the Falcon technology can still pick up new kimberlites in an area that has been
heavily explored by other companies.  Those kimberlites contain diamonds, but   
not in commercial quantities.  However, there are an additional 16 Falcon       
targets which we will be following up as soon as access applications are        
completed.  BHP Billiton has applied for additional prospecting licences over   
them and we expect access probably in the December quarter.  There are 8 targets
where we have done some initial work and found kimberlitic indicator minerals.  
The Daniel Alluvials (TAW: 29.6%), in which BHP Billiton hold the equity        
majority, are not yet as advanced as the Tawana Alluvials, but have been shown  
to be diamondiferous.                                                           
What relationship does Tawana have with De Beers?  What assets are you exploring
together?  How will you maximize the value of that relationship?                
MD Wolf Marx                                                                    
We have a Joint Venture with De Beers over the Pilbara Project (TAW: 66.6%) in  
Western Australia covering a large tenement package.  We also have a Strategic  
Alliance with De Beers, which gives Tawana the first right to participate in any
new diamond projects developed from the extensive database that De Beers has    
over Australia.                                                                 
Apart from the kimberlites we`ve discovered in the Pilbara, the most important  
aspect of our relationship with De Beers is their database.  This is the key to 
the future for us in Australia as we know that there a number of targets to     
follow up.  That`s where the value of the relationship will be maximised.       
What is Tawana`s capital structure, who are your major shareholders and what are
Tawana`s main expenditure commitments?                                          
MD Wolf Marx                                                                    
Tawana has 87 million shares on issue with 23 million listed options,           
exercisable at A$1.00 before 30 April 2008 and we have 1.39 million in staff    
options.  The major shareholders include myself and fellow founding director,   
Euan Luff.  We have a growing number of institutional investors from Australia  
and South Africa.                                                               
Can you describe the political, social and mining industry climate of Botswana  
and South Africa?                                                               
MD Wolf Marx                                                                    
Both countries are politically stable democracies with modern mining acts based 
on principles similar to the Australian mining acts.  The Botswana mining act is
modelled on the Australian and Canadian acts.  A new South African act was      
introduced in April 2004.  Both countries are currently experiencing robust     
economies.  Botswana`s economy is essentially based on diamond mining although  
it has expanded in nickel, coal, zinc and other commodities.  Both countries are
pro-mining and welcome foreign investments.                                     
What is the skill set and experience of the Tawana Board and senior management? 
MD Wolf Marx                                                                    
Tawana has a number of diamond geologists with many decades of experience.  Most
of us are ex De Beers.  In our Melbourne laboratory, we have highly experienced 
scientific management and skilled diamond mineral sorters.                      
In the last couple of years, we have added to our Board.  Our Chairman Brian    
Phillips is a mining engineer with significant experience in taking projects    
from exploration through to mining and that has added to our expertise in the   
current trial mining and bulk sampling phases of our projects.  Our Board and   
senior management have also been involved in many recent corporate activities in
Australia and South Africa.                                                     
We have a skill set for a junior company that is very well rounded, although we 
are working to expand and strengthen our management team to enable Tawana to    
take up new opportunities.                                                      
In summary, how would you rank your assets and the potential for each to add    
value for shareholders?  What progress have you made over recent years in       
advancing them?                                                                 
MD Wolf Marx                                                                    
We currently have an excellent portfolio of projects which, given the range of  
projects from exploration through to bulk sampling and trial mining, ranks us in
our opinion among the best diamond companies active in Southern Africa and      
Australia.  Our projects offer exposure to well advanced projects such as       
Kareevlei and Riverton giving the prospect of early production and hence        
positive cash flow, as well as advanced exploration plays such as the BK Project
in Botswana where there is a high level of expectation of new discoveries.      
Over the last 3 years we have advanced our key South African projects from      
ups to the impending trial mining at Kareevlei and bulk sampling at Riverton.   
Our success in being granted important mining and prospecting rights in South   
Africa and Botswana are very satisfying examples of the level of confidence that
the governments and mines departments of South Africa and Botswana have in      
Tawana`s ability to progress its projects and to be good corporate citizens as  
we`ve demonstrated with other projects.                                         
Our alliances with De Beers, BHP Billiton and Guma illustrate their confidence  
in us and offer opportunities rarely available to smaller cap companies.        
Which projects will Tawana concentrate on exploring over the next year or so?   
MD Wolf Marx                                                                    
Our focus will be on our most advanced project, Kareevlei, but Riverton in South
Africa and the BK Project in Botswana are also high on our list of objectives.  
We will also move forward with BHP Billiton on the Daniel projects in South     
Africa and with De Beers on the Pilbara Project in Australia.  We will continue 
to explore advanced project opportunities with Guma in Africa.  We are also     
working to secure further opportunities in Australia and South Africa to augment
our operating capability and these initiatives have the potential to expand our 
corporate profile in Australia.                                                 
Our projects are now at a stage that will guarantee frequent news flow and      
investor attention.                                                             
Thank you Wolf.                                                                 
For further information on Tawana Resources visit www.tawana.com.au or call Wolf
Marx on +61 (3) 9863 5222.                                                      
To read other Open Briefings, or to receive future Open Briefings by email,     
please visit www.corporatefile.com.au                                           
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information contained in this Open Briefing. It is information given in a       
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Representative Office:                                                          
South African Sponsor to Tawana:                                                
PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance (Pty) Limited                          
All press releases and announcements may be inspected on the Company"s web site,
namely: www.tawana.com.au                                                       
Date: 29/05/2007 07:42:52 Supplied by www.sharenet.co.za                     
Produced by the JSE SENS Department                             .                  

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