Foxtrot Winter Program Completed Kimberlitic Dyke Discovered


Robert T. Boyd, President and CEO of Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. ("Ashton"), is pleased to report the completion of the winter portion of the 2004 bulk sampling and exploration program being conducted by Ashton and its joint venture partner, SOQUEM INC. ("SOQUEM"), on the Foxtrot property in north-central Quebec. The Foxtrot property hosts the Renard cluster of nine kimberlitic bodies and the Lynx kimberlitic body.

Bulk Sample - Renard 2, 3, 4, and 65

As reported on January 19, 2004, the 2004 program includes the collection of a cumulative bulk sample of at least 600 tonnes from the Renard 2, 3, 4, and 65 kimberlitic bodies utilizing both core and reverse circulation ("RC") drilling. These four bodies are situated within a 0.5 square kilometre area of the Renard cluster (the "Core Area"). Existing data suggest that a sample of this magnitude should return 300 or more carats of diamonds that will provide the basis for a preliminary determination of diamond value.

The winter drilling focused on the portions of Renard 2, 4 and 65 which are partly overlain by shallow lakes, and resulted in the collection of a cumulative sample of approximately 220 tonnes. Eight RC holes 27 cm in diameter returned kimberlitic material with a calculated weight of approximately 180 tonnes. In addition, approximately 40 tonnes of material was collected by drilling 27 core holes with a cumulative length of 5700 metres. A map that illustrates the 2004 bulk sample drilling is available on Ashton's website at

Renard 4

At Renard 4, 15 vertical core holes were drilled on a 20-metre grid pattern to an average depth of 210 metres. In addition, three RC holes were drilled within two metres of three of the core holes. Each of the holes terminated in kimberlitic material. The three RC holes and nine of the core holes were drilled from the frozen surface of the lake that covers the eastern portion of the body. Two of the core holes were drilled at the interpreted eastern edge of the body. Initially, these holes encountered granitic gneiss to depths of 72 and 104 metres before terminating in kimberlitic material at depths of 210 and 216 metres respectively. These results suggest that the body is open to the east at depth.

The 15 core holes returned approximately 21 tonnes of kimberlitic material. The sample collected from the RC holes has a calculated weight of approximately 70 tonnes.

Renard 65

At Renard 65, 11 vertical core holes spaced approximately 20 metres apart were drilled to an average depth of 210 metres. Five RC holes were also drilled, each within two metres of a core hole drilled during the winter program. All of the holes terminated in kimberlitic material except for one core hole that terminated in country rock breccia. Four of the core holes and two of the RC holes were drilled from the frozen surface of a shallow lake that overlays the central portion of the body.

Kimberlitic material from the 11 core holes yielded a sample of approximately 17 tonnes. The calculated weight of kimberlitic material from the five RC holes is approximately 110 tonnes.

Renard 2

One vertical core hole was drilled on the portion of Renard 2 overlain by a small lake. The hole terminated in kimberlitic material at a depth of 219 metres and resulted in the recovery of approximately two tonnes of kimberlitic material.

Sample Processing

The 40 tonnes of drill core will be processed for diamonds at Ashton's North Vancouver laboratory utilizing a recently acquired five tonne per hour dense media separation ("DMS") plant. The joint venture expects to process the material collected by RC drilling at a commercial facility that offers a larger DMS plant. The results from these samples are expected late in the second or early in the third quarter.

Completion of 2004 Bulk Sampling Program

The remaining portion of the bulk sample will be collected during the summer portion of the 2004 program that is expected to commence in July. The additional material will be collected using both large diameter drill core and RC drilling.

Mini-bulk Sample -- Renard 9

Two vertical and seven angle core holes were drilled at Renard 9, one of two kimberlitic bodies within the Core Area that were not the subject of mini-bulk sampling before 2004. Each of the holes terminated in country rock or country rock breccia. The drill data suggest that Renard 9 varies in width from 25 to 55 metres, has a strike length of at least 160 metres and is open to the north and south. A significant portion of the kimberlitic material recovered from Renard 9 is diluted by abundant country rock xenoliths. 

The nine holes are expected to yield at least five tonnes of kimberlitic material that will be processed by DMS at Ashton's North Vancouver laboratory. 

Target Drilling and Geophysical Surveys 

The winter portion of the 2004 program also included further evaluation of the Foxtrot property by target drilling and geophysical surveys.

Lynx Anomaly

As reported on February 12, 2004, the joint venture has identified a 2.5 km wide indicator mineral dispersion situated approximately 2 km west of the Renard cluster (the "Lynx Anomaly"). In late 2003, the Lynx body, an east-dipping zone of kimberlitic dykes, was discovered by drilling within the Lynx Anomaly. In addition, kimberlitic material was identified on surface at three locations within the Lynx anomaly. At one of these locations, approximately 100 metres southwest of the Lynx body, 3.87 tonnes of cobbles and boulders were collected. After processing by DMS, this material returned 4.63 carats of diamonds greater than 0.85 mm using a square aperture screen giving the sample an indicated diamond content of 1.2 carats per tonne.

During the winter program, two additional drill holes situated in the vicinity of the discovery holes intersected the Lynx dyke complex. The body is now interpreted to be a zone of dykes with a strike of 345º that dips to the east at approximately 50°. This zone varies in width from 3.4 to 9.4 metres. Intersections of kimberlitic material within each hole drilled to date represent approximately 30 to 60 percent of the dyke zone. The longest single intersection of the dyke in each hole ranged from 1.1 to 2.7 metres.

During the winter program, the joint venture investigated a geophysical target within the Lynx Anomaly situated approximately 1.2 kilometres north-northwest of Lynx along the interpreted strike of the body. Kimberlitic cobbles were identified in late 2003 approximately 150 metres southwest of this target. Two inclined holes with an azimuth of 270º were drilled at this location from the same setup, the first at an inclination of 50º and the second at 55º.

The first hole intersected a 3.9 metre wide zone at a depth of 130 metres containing approximately 35 percent kimberlitic dykes. The largest intersection was approximately 1.2 metres wide. The second hole intersected a 6.8 metre wide zone at a depth of 123 metres containing approximately 20 percent kimberlitic dykes. The cumulative intersection of kimberlitic dykes in the second hole was approximately 1.4 metres. The longest single intersection was 45 cm. These intersections do not adequately explain the geophysical and indicator mineral anomalies observed at surface. Further work is required to interpret the strike and dip of the dyke zone. 

At the present time it is not known whether this discovery and the Lynx body represent a continuous or related dyke system. The summer portion of the 2004 program will include further work to more fully understand the extent of the kimberlitic intrusions within the Lynx Anomaly.

Additional Exploration

During the winter program, the joint venture completed 7,000 line kilometres of airborne geophysical surveys and 400 line kilometres of ground geophysical surveys on the Foxtrot property. Seven additional geophysical anomalies outside of the Renard cluster and Lynx Anomaly were investigated by drilling. No additional kimberlitic material was intersected. 

The Foxtrot property hosts a number of high priority indicator mineral anomalies that remain unexplained. They include two dispersions associated with kimberlitic pebbles and cobbles located six kilometres to the north and three kilometres southeast of the Renard cluster respectively. In the coming months, the joint venture intends to prioritize additional drill targets by evaluating the geophysical data acquired during the recently completed field season together with the indicator mineral data. The summer portion of the 2004 program will commence in June and will include prospecting, geological mapping, indicator mineral sampling, ground geophysical surveys and target drilling.

SOQUEM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SGF Minéral inc., a subsidiary of Société générale de financement du Québec ("SGF"). The mission of the SGF, as an industrial and financial holding company, is to carry out economic development projects, especially in the industrial sector, in cooperation with partners and in accordance with accepted requirements for profitability that comply with the economic development policy of the Government of Quebec. 

Ashton is the operator of the joint venture's exploration programs. Brooke Clements, Professional Geologist and Ashton's Vice President, Exploration, is responsible for their design and conduct, and for the verification and quality assurance of analytical results.


The 2004 Annual and Special Meeting of Shareholders of Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. will be held at 3:00 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time) on Thursday, May 6 in the Vancouver Room on the 2nd Floor of the Metropolitan Hotel, 645 Howe Street, Vancouver, B.C. All shareholders and other interested individuals are cordially invited to attend.

For further information, please contact:

Robert T. Boyd            -or-          Salimah Lalli            -or-           visit our website:
President and CEO                         Investor Relations             
(604) 983-7750                              (604) 983-7750                           email: