Mr. Larry W. Reaugh, President & CEO of Rocher Deboule Minerals Corp. (TSX.V: RD; Pink Sheets: RDBHF) (“Rocher Deboule” or the “Company”) is pleased to report on the Company’s progress in 2008. The Company’s primary focus has been on advancing their large Artillery Peak Manganese project in Arizona. Principally manganese is the fourth largest consumed metal (approximately 29 billion lbs/yr) after iron, aluminum and copper. Manganese has no substitution in the manufacture of steel which consumes 10 – 20 lbs/tonne. There is no production of manganese in North America where the US steel companies import all of their manganese requirements while having huge deposits of iron ore domestically. Manganese is considered a strategic metal and Rocher has 100% of the largest manganese resource in the southwestern United States (*175,000,000 tons grading 3.5 – 4% manganese) as reported in the US Geological Survey in Bulletin 961, titled “Manganese Resources of Artillery Mountain Region, Mohave County, Arizona”. *Where historical estimates are referred to, the Company has no classification of the resource or reserve, and the Company has not obtained enough of the original data and has not done the work necessary to verify the classification of a resource or reserve. The Company is not treating the estimates as a NI 43-101 defined resource or reserve verified by a Qualified Person and the historical estimate should not be relied upon.
The Company’s focus has been on developing a process to economically develop the Artillery Peak Manganese project to supply a portion of US steel industry requirements. The price for manganese metal is currently US $1.30/lb reflecting a much smaller price decline than copper, zinc, lead and molybdenum. The Company believes that the bulk mining of low grade manganese is key to supplying the US steel industry and to that end is currently compiling and detailing prior and recent metallurgical studies to facilitate proposed metallurgical testing of the Artillery Peak Manganese.
The Company plans the following activities on their Artillery Peak Manganese project and IOCG British Columbia project as follows:
1) Several bankers boxes of exploration and metallurgical information was received by the Company on completion of their option and purchase agreements for the Artillery Peak properties. The historical resource reported on the newly acquired Maggie Canyon property is as follows:
|Calculation Method||Tons||Grade Mn|
|Cross Section||* 25,129,693||4.73%|
*Where historical estimates are referred to, the Company has no classification of the resource or reserve, and the Company has not obtained enough of the original data and has not done the work necessary to verify the classification of a resource or reserve. The Company is not treating the estimates as a NI 43-101 defined resource or reserve verified by a Qualified Person and the historical estimate should not be relied upon.
2) N. Tribe & Associates Ltd has been engaged to compile the geological information and complete a NI 43-101 resource study. Completion of the report is expected by early April, 2009.
3) The Company has requested proposals from several metallurgical companies to advance their ongoing process studies on the Artillery Peak Manganese.
4) The Company is currently detailing areas for drilling programs to further develop the Artillery Peak Manganese resource.
Iron Oxide Copper Gold Project (805 hectare (19,896 acre)):
Rocher Deboule is applying for drill permits to investigate the gold potential on their high grade Victoria adit area where historical production of 90 tons contained 112.6 g (3.62 oz) gold/ton and 1.17% molybdenum (2,100 lbs) and 2.73% cobalt (4,918 lbs).
Review of 2008 Activities:
2008 was a year of contradictions for all of the markets where gold and metals made historical highs by mid year only to reach new lows by year end. Gold is already in a new phase of the bull market led by senior and advanced projects with base and specialty metals finally establishing bottoms in the latter quarter of 2009.
January 13, 2009 – Metallurgical testing during 2008 by Mountain State Research and Development Institutes (“MSRDI”) of Arizona and Process Research & Associates (“PRA”) of Richmond, British Columbia confirmed that manganese extraction in excess of 90% can be achieved from leaching coarse particles by sulphurus acid. PRA also produced manganese metal using the proprietary EMEW electrolysis technology. The Company has also produced a business plan to better understand the economics of processing Artillery Peak Manganese.
October 16, 2008 – The Company completed the assembly of all the properties (in four separate agreements) entailing the manganese deposits at Artillery Peak Arizona. The Company now controls the entire manganese district (12 square miles) after one year of intensive negotiations.
October 8, 2008 – Rocher completes a private placement of 3,255,000 units at $0.20 per unit for gross proceeds of $651,000.
September 2, 2008 – The Company acquired a 100% interest in the Pond Magnesium claims located 14 km south, southeast of Canal Flats, British Columbia. Cominco Inc. (now Teck Cominco Ltd.) completed eight (8) diamond drill holes in 1981. Six (6) diamond drill holes were drilled in the south end of the property measuring 120 x 350 meters and two (2) diamond drill holes were drilled 3 km north of the southern drill holes as follows:
|DDH #||From (m)||To (m)||Length (m) / (feet)||% Mg O|
|P-81-1||3.65||64.0||60.35 (198 ft)||21.86|
|P-81-2||3.65||104.55||100.90 (331 ft)||22.07|
|P-81-3||3.65||124.05||120.70 (396 ft)||22.75|
|P-81-4||15.85||96.65||80.80 (265 ft)||21.11|
|P-81-5||10.20||120.73||110.53 (363 ft)||21.30|
|P-81-8||NOT REPORTED ON|
|Area 3 km north|
|P-81-6||3.65||98.60||94.95 (311 ft)||21.21|
|P-81-7||3.65||41.45||37.80 (124 ft)||21.36|
August 28, 2008 – The Company terminated its option of the Tam Fluorite property located in British Columbia.
June 24, 2008 – N. Tribe & Associates Ltd. completes NI 43-101 resource study based on 3,027 meters (9,930 ft) of diamond drilling in 17 holes at the Macgregor Pit area as follows:
|CATEGORY||TONNAGE||GRADE Mn||TOTAL LBS|
May 28, 2008 – Rocher initiates metallurgical testing programs with MSRDI and PRA.
April 15, 2008 – Rocher completes 17 hole diamond drilling program entailing 3,027 meters (9,930 ft). Eleven of the drill holes contain significant manganese intercepts up to 27.44 meters (70 ft) grading 5.48% manganese.
February 29, 2008 – Rocher completes private placement of 3,562,200 units at $0.45 per unit for gross proceeds of $1,603,000.
January 25, 2008 – Rocher achieves tier 2 listing on the TSX Venture Exchange from the NEX board.
Niobium Property / British Columbia (100% ownership)
The Brent and Lonnie carbonatite claims contain two showings defined by trenching (1970’s) with a combined strike length of 620 meters (2,040 ft) with widths up to 40 meters grading 0.20% Niobium.
Niobium’s primary use is in the low alloy steel production (85%) and currently trades at about $21.00 US/lb.
British Columbia Manganese Properties
The Company has a 100% interest in three manganese mineral properties in the Clinton (2) and the Alberni (1) mining districts. The properties host narrow high grade manganese occurrences assaying from 15.8 to 45.78% Mn.
Magnesium is a widely used industrial metal categorized by its light weight. The metal is produced in 2 ways: 1) electrolysing the brine in salt water; 2) smelting high grade ore. The supply of magnesium has undergone dramatic change. The production of the metal from source has almost ceased in Canada and the United States, only one company in Utah remains. The Chinese now produce 7/8 of the world’s primary supply. The total world production is estimated at approximately 800,000 metric tonnes (2008 USGS). This distortion of the market has lead to dumping charges and the incidence of an import duty in the United States; this dependence on virtually only one foreign source presents opportunity. The price of magnesium is currently about US$2,800 a metric tonne or US$1.27 lb (minor metals). The metal has enjoyed a favourable price for decades and has reached $6,000/tonne in times of demand.
Manganese is used in the production of iron and steel. As the demand for iron and steel rises the demand for manganese rises proportionally. Worldwide production of manganese alloys reached 11.8 million tonnes in 2006 (up 14% from 2005) and 13.3 million tonnes in 2007 (up 13.3% from 2006) with China producing 46% or 6.2 million tonnes. China is currently looking at measures to control production by increasing export taxes by 20%. Manganese prices are currently at $1.30 US/lb.
About Rocher Deboule Minerals Corp.
Rocher Deboule Minerals Corp. is a diversified exploration and development company focusing its attention on mineral properties and commodities used in the steel manufacturing industry and their British Columbia (IOCG) gold project.
This release has been reviewed by Norman L. Tribe, P.Eng, a qualified person pursuant to National Instrument 43-101.
On behalf of Management
ROCHER DEBOULE MINERALS CORP.
Larry W. Reaugh
President and Chief Executive Officer