Shear Announces Commencement of $8.5-Million Churchill Program


Shear Minerals Ltd. (SRM:TSXV), Stornoway Diamond Corporation (SWY:TSXV), and BHP Billiton announced today that the 2004 Churchill Diamond Project field program is now underway.

A field crew has been mobilized to the project area to conduct ground geophysical surveys; glacial interpretation and mapping; and detailed till sampling in areas within and up-ice from high diamond potential G10 indicator mineral plumes and float occurrences.

"We have identified five corridors at Churchill containing indicator minerals prospective for the discovery of diamonds. This year's initial work, together with last year's extensive geophysics, drilling and sampling, will enable us to choose which targets to drill in these corridors as the season progresses," says Shear President and CEO Pamela Strand.

The joint venture has put in place a preliminary budget of $8.5million for the 2004 Churchill program which includes:

  • Collecting 3,800 surface samples.
  • Flying 33,613 line kilometers of detailed helicopter-borne magnetics and electromagnetics.
  • Completing 16,575 line kilometers of high-resolution fixed-wing magnetics over a portion of the 2003 prospecting permits.
  • Conducting prospecting and mapping in areas where geophysical and/or mineral chemistry has identified possible kimberlites.
  • Completing gridding and ground geophysical surveying over priority targets.
  • Drilling at least 20 targets which exist in close proximity to high priority diamond indicator mineral chemistry.

Last year the joint venture discovered a total of 16 kimberlites on the property and 2 at the adjacent Churchill West property; collected and analyzed more than 1,800 surface samples; and flew 20,260 line kilometers of geophysics over the project area for a budget of $5 million.

This year the joint venture is following recommendations in a Technical Report prepared for the Churchill Diamond Property to comply with the standards set out in National Instrument 43-101 for the Canadian Securities Administration, The report was prepared by Dean Besserer, B.Sc., P.Geol,, principal and Vice President of APEX Geoscience Ltd., a Qualified Person who is considered independent of the issuers as defined in Section 1.5.

In his report, Mr. Besserer says: "Based on exploration conducted throughout the area, diamondiferous kimberlites exist within the Churchill Diamond Property. High quality diamond indicator mineral anomalies exist in till throughout the Churchill Properties which are spatially separate from the existing known kimberlites, therefore the source has yet to be discovered." 

Mr. Besserer says that since a limited amount of exploration has been conducted at Churchill, further systematic exploration needs to be completed throughout the properties. "Airborne and ground geophysics in conjunction with diamond indicator mineral sampling, prospecting and drilling, may lead to the important discovery of new kimberlite and/or related intrusion discoveries within the Churchill properties," he says. The Technical Report has been filed and is available on SEDAR.

"The joint venture has now commenced the second year of a multi-year aggressive exploration program aimed at discovering the source of the property's outstanding indicator mineral chemistry," says Ms. Strand. "We will be testing a large percentage of our high priority targets, including some under lakes in our 2004 and 2005 drill program."

Results from the 2003 heavy mineral sampling program continue to indicate the presence of high priority kimberlite indicator minerals suggestive of diamonds, on the property. All 1,870 samples have been picked for silicates resulting in more than 1,500 microprobe-confirmed kimberlite indicator minerals. A review of the detailed helicopter map-EM survey on the project's core area has been completed by independent consultant Christopher Campbell of Intrepid Geophysics, Vancouver B.C. A total of 391 kimberlite targets including 23 of high priority (some of which are under lakes) have been identified. 

"The technical team, which has been assembled by all the Churchill partners, is comprised of individuals with a track record for discovering and developing diamond mines. The team has commenced a comprehensive interpretation on all datasets, from which targets will be selected for the up-coming drilling campaign scheduled to commence once ground work is complete," says Ms. Strand.

The 8.5-million acre Churchill Diamond Project is a new and evolving kimberlite district which Shear, and its joint venture partners, discovered. Located near the community of Rankin Inlet in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut, this key Eastern Arctic property has been instrumental in the recent staking rush in the region. Shear has a 51% interest in the project and is operator. Stornoway Diamond Corp. and BHP Billiton have 35% and 14% interests respectively. The 2004 field program is under the supervision of Jennifer Burgess, P. Geol., a Qualified Person under NI 43-101.

On behalf of the Board


/s/ "Pamela Strand"

Pamela Strand, P. Geol.


For further information, please contact the Company at 780-435-0045 or 1-866-298-9695


On behalf of the Board


/s/ "Eira Thomas"

Eira Thomas


For further information, please contact the Company at 604-687-7545 or 1-888-338-2200


This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding ongoing and upcoming exploration work and expected geology, geological formations and structures. Actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these statements.

The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.