BRC Diamond Core has entered into a new joint venture with Rio Tinto Mining And Exploration Limited, where Rio Tinto will fund the proposed new exploration programme for the DRC North project located in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

BRC announced that it would resume the exploration of diamonds in Orientale after a recent analysis of samples showed the presence of micro diamonds, which typically indicate the presence of primary sources of kimberlite diamonds proximal to the area.

Work in the area was suspended due to a force majeur which was lifted on 20 January 2011.

BRC has now mobilised a geological exploration team to commence a follow-up programme of more detailed sampling, which is expected to be complete by May this year.