Renard 3 Sample Returns 1.82 Carat Diamond And 153 cpht Renard 10 Diamondiferous


Robert T. Boyd, President and CEO of Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. ("Ashton" or the "Corporation"), is pleased to report an estimated diamond content of 153 carats per hundred tonnes ("cpht") for a 5.11 tonne mini-bulk sample collected from the Renard 3 kimberlitic body in 2003. The largest diamond recovered weighs 1.82 carats. Caustic dissolution analysis has also confirmed that Renard 10 is diamondiferous. Both bodies are situated on the Foxtrot property in north-central Quebec where Ashton and its joint venture partner, SOQUEM INC. ("SOQUEM"), are currently conducting a bulk sampling program.

Renard 3

Renard 3 lies at the south end of the north-south-trending group of nine kimberlitic bodies that constitute the Renard cluster. The 5.11 tonne sample was collected during the summer and winter of 2003 by drilling 11 core holes. The sample consisted dominantly of kimberlitic breccia with lesser amounts of hypabyssal material, country rock and country rock breccia. 

Ashton processed the sample at its North Vancouver laboratory using the Corporation's recently commissioned five tonne per hour dense media separation ("DMS") plant. The sample returned 7.81 carats of diamonds larger than 1.18 mm using a square aperture screen giving this material an estimated diamond content of 153 cpht. 

A 4.88 tonne sample collected from Renard 3 in 2002 returned 6.54 carats of diamonds larger than 0.85 mm using a square aperture screen for an estimated diamond content of 134 cpht. As shown in the table below, the cumulative 9.99 tonnes of material collected from Renard 3 to date has returned 14.35 carats of diamonds for an estimated diamond content of 144 cpht.

Renard 3 DMS Diamond Results

Date Reported

Sample Weight (tonnes)

Weight of Diamonds Recovered (carats)

Diamond Content (cpht)
June 9, 2004


             7.81(Note 1)


December 18, 2002


    6.54 (Note 2)






Note 1: All diamonds are larger than 1.18 mm using a square aperture screen. 

Note 2: All diamonds are larger than 0.85 mm using a square aperture screen. The largest diamond was a 0.73 carat colourless composite crystal.   

The four largest diamonds from the 5.11 tonne sample weigh 1.82, 1.01, 0.73 and 0.70 carats. The 1.82 carat diamond is a colourless octahedral crystal with uneven surface characteristics and the 1.01 carat diamond is a pale brown octahedral crystal.

To date, approximately 57 tonnes of material collected from the Renard 2, 3, 4 and 65 kimberlitic bodies within the Core Area of the Renard cluster has been processed by DMS. This material has returned approximately 41 carats of diamonds giving the cumulative sample an estimated diamond content of 72 cpht. These results also confirm that the four kimberlitic intrusions contain a significant population of commercial-size stones. As announced on January 19, a principal objective of the 2004 exploration program is the collection of a 600 tonne bulk sample from the four bodies to further define their size and diamond content. The estimated 300-carat parcel of diamonds that the joint venture expects to recover will provide the basis for a preliminary determination of diamond value.

The joint venture is now proceeding with processing 220 tonnes of material collected this past winter from Renard 4 and Renard 65. Forty tonnes collected by core drilling will be processed in North Vancouver using Ashton's recently commissioned DMS plant. The remaining material was collected by reverse circulation drilling and will be processed at a commercial facility. Results are expected in the third quarter. The remainder of the 600 tonnes will be collected during the summer and fall field season that will commence early in the third quarter.

Renard 10

Renard 10 is the most northerly Renard body and is situated approximately two km northwest of Renard 3. As reported on October 20, 2003, Renard 10 was discovered during the summer of 2003 by drilling two angle holes in opposite directions across a subtle geophysical anomaly.

A 187.8 kg sample of core from the drill holes was processed for diamonds by caustic dissolution at Ashton's North Vancouver laboratory. The sample consisted dominantly of hypabyssal kimberlitic material with minor amounts of kimberlitic breccia. The table below presents the results of the caustic dissolution analysis in square mesh sieve format.

Sample Weight (kg)

Numbers of Diamonds According to Sieve Size Fraction (mm)

Total Number of Diamonds











+0.600 - 0.850

+0.850 - 1.18

+1.18 - 1.70


- 2.36












The joint venture will consider additional drilling on Renard 10 as a part of future exploration programs.

These results confirm that all nine bodies discovered to date within the Renard cluster are diamondiferous. In addition, the results of indicator mineral sampling suggest the potential for the discovery of additional kimberlitic bodies on the Foxtrot property.

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:

Robert T. Boyd        -or-         Brooke Clements                    -or-  visit our website:
President and CEO                   Vice President Exploration      
(604) 983-7750                        (604) 983-7750                                 email: