TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 16, 2012) - Morumbi Resources Inc. (TSX VENTURE:MOC) ("Morumbi" or the "Company") announces that it has, through special purpose Papua New Guinea registered subsidiaries, entered into three additional Memorandums of Understanding ("MOU") with three different Landowner Companies companies on Bougainville as their invited partner of choice in preparation for the resumption of mineral exploration on the island. Bougainville was host to Rio Tinto's Panguna mine, the largest porphyry gold/copper mine in the world during the 1970's and 1980's, which was forcibly closed in 1989 by landowners who asserted that they were never properly consulted in the process of establishing the mine or its operations.
Morumbi has also been requested by Isina Resource Holdings Ltd. (an existing partner/ Landowner Company) to make preparations to initiate a preliminary exploration program on the Isina Exploration License (see press release dated April 3, 2012) which was presented for registration with the Mines Department of the Autonomous Bougainville Government ("ABG") on March 13, 2012. Construction of an exploration base for these exploration activities will be undertaken at a suitable location, currently being determined, in the Isina Prospect Area.
Full scale exploration activities will only begin once the license registered with the ABG has been approved in accordance with the implementation of a Mining Policy for the Autonomous Region of Bougainville ("ARB"). The process to formulate and approve the Mining Policy for Bougainville by the ABG has begun with input being provided by all interested parties including the ABG Mines Department as well as the landowners who own the mineral resources beneath their traditional lands.
The newly signed MOUs are the result of the Company mineral resource acquisition program being initiated by our Bougainville business development team. Morumbi's representatives including the principals of Rockwell S.A. (acquired by Morumbi in March 2011), have been diligently developing long term relationships with landowners based upon trust and mutual respect. Our business development team has also been focusing on identifying both the short term and long term objectives and needs of landowners as they move to develop their mineral resources for the first time in Bougainville's history. The MOUs are made possible as a result of the landowners of Bougainville asserting control over the ownership and management of their own mineral rights for the first time in 150 years as reflected in their Constitution and in their declaration in the MOUs with Morumbi as follows:
"The Resource Owners unequivocally declare ..... that the Landowners are the rightful owners to the resources on, above, beneath and running through their lands as acknowledged in Section 23 of the Bougainville Constitution of 2004; further, the Resources Owner from time immemorial has held unalienable customary rights over all resources within its boundaries as acknowledged by Article 26 of the United Nations Declaration on Customary Land Rights".
The terms of the MOUs also provide that Morumbi's Landowner Company partners will retain a 15% carried interest in the exploration mining license once issued, with all exploration capital funded solely by Morumbi until such time that a bankable feasibility study is completed on any mineral discovery made on any relevant license. Thereafter, Morumbi will arrange financing for a given Landowner Company's share of any pre-production and development costs, with these funds to be subsequently repaid from the Landowner Company's share of net future production revenues.
Morumbi will continue to develop meaningful relationships with its mineral development partners through the delivery of much needed social programs in the areas such as health care, education and food supply, some of which are now being delivered by Morumbi, and other programs which are planned to be delivered in the near term. These programs are an integral part of Morumbi's commitments to the various landowner groups that have entered into MOUs with the Company and are in addition to our commitments to explore and develop the mineral potential of their traditional lands.
Bougainville Mineral Potential & Morumbi's Resource Acquisition Program
The Island of Bougainville is situated along an emerging gold-copper Neogene magmatic belt from Lihir to the Solomon Islands on the South West Pacific Rim of Fire. A number of economic gold and gold- copper deposits have been discovered on this belt including Lihir, Panguna, Simberi and Gold Ridge.
There has been no exploration activity on the Island of Bougainville since the 1960's outside the Panguna Special Mining Lease. The island is one of the world's best endowed gold and copper districts; hosting the world class Panguna Mine surrounded by what is generally accepted as the world's most under explored prospective district for the discovery of additional large scale porphyry gold-copper deposits as well as high grade epithermal deposits.
Morumbi's mineral resource acquisition program has been focused on a number of prospect areas identified in a joint mineral prospect assessment of the Island of Bougainville conducted in the 1980s. These Bougainville prospect areas were thoroughly evaluated in a detailed resource assessment that was largely funded by the German Institute of Geosciences and Natural Resources but undertaken in cooperation with the Geological Survey of Papua New Guinea, the results of which were disclosed in two separate mineral prospect assessments (collectively the "Prospect Reports") published in 1990 and 1989, by the participants respectively. This joint mineral prospect assessment was based on a 8,300 km geophysical survey followed up over a 10 month period by extensive ground geochemical sampling and geophysical analysis of 20 prospects identified by the initial geophysical survey covering much of the central Crown Prince Range.
To date Morumbi has secured Mining & Development MOUs covering four of the strongest prospect areas on Bougainville as identified by the Prospect Reports: - Isina, Kopani, Mainoki and Atamo.
Under the terms of each of the four MOUs, Morumbi has paid Kina 10,000 (approximately CDN$ 5,000) on signing and has committed to pay a further Kina 3,000 (approximately CDN $1,500) per month to the Landowner Companies to help them carry out their corporate functions.
Pakasiapan Mining & Development Ltd (a PNG subsidiary of Morumbi) has entered into an MOU with Pakasiapan Resources Ltd (Landowner Company). The Mining & Development agreement establishes Morumbi as the Development Partner of choice for Pakasiapan Resources Ltd. The lands underlying this MOU cover a number of the Kopani prospects. Within the Kopani prospect area the Prospect Reports have identified one porphyry system and 3 epithermal systems for further detailed exploration assessment which was not carried out as a result of the Bougainville Conflict. These structures lie 20 km to the NW of Panguna mine site.
The concession area covered by the Kopani Prospect Area MOU with the Pakasiapan Landowner Company covers approximately 15,000 ha. This is a preliminary estimate of the area covered. A program is underway to more accurately determine the lands and boundaries to be governed by the MOU. A survey team has been formed and trained by Morumbi to survey the boundaries of all its new MOUs using state of the art GPS equipment. This program is to be carried out with the assistance of the Clan Chiefs from the three additional prospect areas who formed their Landowner Companies and are intimately aware of their traditional boundaries to be covered by each agreement. The program will accurately map the concession boundaries through difficult terrain over the coming months, which information will form the basis of the Exploration Licence Registrations that will be prepared and submitted to the ABG Mines Department.
Morumbi's various commitments to its mineral development Landowner Company partners include, amongst other things, a much needed equipped health clinic which has been built in Indonesia by the Company and awaits shipment to Bougainville where it will be constructed by our newly installed operations team in Arawa at a site in the village of Kopani selected by the Pakasiapan Landowners. Budi Hastuti, Morumbi's health specialist will oversee the training of staff, commissioning and ongoing medical provisioning in co-operation with the Bougainville Health Department. In addition, five teacher trainees have been selected by the community leaders to be part of a three year 36 student Morumbi sponsored Teacher Training program to be taught and certified by the PNG Department of Education. Other similar programs and projects are being initiated with our other new and existing Landowner Company mineral development partners who are identified herein.
Seven Sisters Mining & Development Ltd (a PNG subsidiary of Morumbi) has entered into two separate MOU's covering prospect areas contiguous to the Panguna Special Mining Lease ('SML"). The first is an MOU with Avaipa Resources Ltd (Landowner Company) covering the Mainoki Prospect Area. The Mining & Development agreement establishes Morumbi as the Development Partner of choice for Avaipa Resources Ltd and covers an area of approximately 22,000 ha including the Mainoki porphyry prospect and the Mainoki South porphyry prospect as identified by the Prospect Report completed in the 1980s, with the former being reported to be a major porphyry system. Other than the work undertaken to complete the Prospect Reports no other exploration work was done on these prospects since 1964 when the previous unauthorized exploration company was turned away by landowners. One of structures identified lies 5 km West of the Panguna mine site.
The second MOU entered into by Morumbi's Seven Sisters Mining & Development Ltd subsidiary is with Baupana Resources Ltd (Landowner Company) covering the Atamo Prospect Area. The Mining & Development agreement establishes Morumbi as the Development Partner of choice for Baunapa Resources Ltd and covers an area of approximately 18,000 ha including the Atamo prospect identified by Prospect Report as an "explosion caldera" that warranted further investigation. Some exploration work, unauthorized by landowners, was carried out in Atamo prior to 1967 including some preliminary exploration drilling after which the previous unauthorized exploration company was turned away by the landowners in the area. The structure identified in the Prospect Report in the Atamo Prospect Area lies 12 km to the North of the Panguna mine site.
Morumbi is currently awaiting the ABG completion and approval process for their new Mining Policy, and in the interim, the Company continues to move forward with our various social program initiatives directed at the communities of our Landowner mineral development partners. Once the Mining Policy is implemented and licenses are issued to the Landowner Companies over their traditional lands, Morumbi will initiate full scale exploration activities on these licenses and begin the process of building upon the prospect leads and preliminary exploration results of the extensive Prospect Reports completed in the 1980s.
If a suitable target is identified through this process, completion of any further development could represent a Change of Business under the TSX Venture Exchange policies. As a result, any such transaction would be subject to a number of conditions, including TSX Venture Exchange acceptance and require shareholder approval.
Morumbi Resources Inc. is a public company with a light oil property in northwest Alberta as well as early stage mineral exploration licenses in PNG. Morumbi is also currently evaluating resource opportunities in Bougainville, PNG by forming strategic relationships with local Landowner companies with the view to securing mineral exploration licenses on their traditional lands. The Company trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "MOC". For more information about Morumbi and the Company's plans visit our website at www.morumbi.ca.Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
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