Quebec Summer Program Commences Lynx Anomaly Now 4.5 Km Wide


Robert T. Boyd, President and CEO of Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. ("Ashton"), is pleased to report that the summer portion of the 2004 program approved by Ashton and its joint venture partner, SOQUEM INC. ("SOQUEM"), in the Otish Mountains region of north-central Quebec is now underway. The summer initiatives include completion of the bulk sampling program of the Renard cluster of kimberlitic intrusions and more detailed investigation of the Lynx Anomaly and other targets on the Foxtrot and Tichegami properties.

Bulk Sampling - Renard Cluster

As announced on April 12, during the winter portion of the 2004 program the joint venture collected a cumulative bulk sample of approximately 220 tonnes of material from Renard 2, 4 and 65 by means of core and large diameter reverse circulation ("RC") drilling. The approximately 218 tonnes of material collected from Renard 4 and 65 during the winter portion of the program is currently being processed for diamonds. The first results are anticipated in early August and the remaining results are expected before the end of the third quarter.

The summer phase of the bulk sample program is designed to collect an additional 380 tonnes of material from Renard 2, 3 and 4 by drilling an estimated 20 core holes and 15 RC holes. Core drilling is already underway and RC drilling is expected to commence in August. The sample will be airlifted from the field before the end of October. The core will be analyzed at Ashton's laboratory in North Vancouver. The joint venture expects to treat the RC material at the facilities of Kennecott Canada Exploration Inc. in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

The 2004 bulk sampling program encompasses four of the nine kimberlitic bodies that constitute the Renard cluster on the Foxtrot property. The four bodies, Renard 2, 3, 4 and 65, are situated within a 0.5 square "Core Area" that also includes Renard 8 and 9. As announced earlier, the 2004 bulk sampling program is intended to collect at least 600 tonnes of kimberlitic material. Existing data suggest that a sample of this magnitude should yield a cumulative parcel of at least 300 carats of diamonds that could provide the basis for a preliminary determination of diamond value.  


The summer exploration program will focus primarily on indicator mineral sampling, geophysical surveying, prospecting, mapping and drilling within the Lynx Anomaly as well as target drilling on the Foxtrot and Tichegami properties.

Foxtrot Property - Lynx Anomaly

In 2003, the joint venture reported the discovery of the Lynx Anomaly, a 2.5 km wide indicator mineral dispersion located approximately two kilometres west of the Renard cluster. At that time, kimberlitic pebbles and boulders were recovered on surface at three locations within the anomaly. As reported on February 12, 2004, a 3.87 tonne sample of kimberlitic boulders collected within the anomaly returned 4.63 carats of diamonds giving this material an estimated diamond content of 1.2 carats per tonne. Drilling in 2003 and 2004 at two locations situated up-ice from two boulder collection sites separated by a distance of 1.2 km resulted in the discovery of two zones of dykes subsequently named Lynx and Lynx North.

In July 2004, exploration crews prospecting in areas of anomalous indicator minerals identified abundant kimberlitic cobbles and boulders on surface at three new sites. These discoveries are situated approximately 300 m and 800 m north of Lynx North and two kilometres south of the Lynx occurrence along the interpreted 345 degree strike azimuth of the occurrence. The anomalous indicator mineral results, together with the discovery of these boulders and cobbles, extend the width of the Lynx Anomaly to approximately 4.5 km. These data, although limited, suggest the potential existence of a kimberlitic dyke system having a strike length of approximately 4.5 km. 

The joint venture intends to continue the investigation of the Lynx Anomaly throughout the summer field season through prospecting, bedrock and boulder mapping, ground geophysical surveys and further drilling.

Foxtrot Property - Additional Exploration

Indicator mineral anomalies located respectively six km north and three km southeast of the Renard cluster were identified on the Foxtrot property through results generated in 2003. Kimberlitic pebbles have been recovered from each locality and a single diamond was found in a till sample collected from the north anomaly. During the summer program, these and other unexplained indicator mineral dispersions will be investigated through prospecting, indicator mineral sampling, ground geophysical surveys and target drilling. The joint venture expects to complete this work in late September.

Tichegami Property

The joint venture has identified a number of geophysical anomalies associated with anomalous concentrations of indicator minerals through successive years of exploration on the Tichegami property, located approximately 80 km south of the Foxtrot property. During the summer program, ground geophysical surveys and target drilling will be conducted in an effort to explain these anomalies.

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.

For further information, please contact:

Alessandro Bitelli        -or-    Brooke Clements              -or-        visit our website:
Vice President, Finance            Vice President Exploration      
(604) 983-7750                        (604) 983-7750                                 email: