Empire and Shear Announce New Diamond Project


Northern Empire Minerals Ltd. ("Empire") and Shear Minerals Ltd. (SRM: TSXV)("Shear") are pleased to announce the formation of the Churchill Diamond Project Joint Venture, an agreement that includes the diamond mineral rights to the TrustMe Property ("TM"), a 540,000 acre package of prospective ground in the Rankin Inlet area, Nunavut Territory. As part of this agreement Empire has an option to acquire a 36% direct working interest in the Project.

Results have been received from 64 till samples collected in 2001 by APEX Geoscience Ltd. Of the samples reviewed 21 yielded diamond indicator minerals including pyrope garnets, eclogitic garnets, chromites, ilmenites, chrome-diopsides and olivines. Samples were processed and picked by Saskatchewan Research Council and sent to Barnett Geological Ltd. for microprobe confirmation. 43% of all pyropes are G10 subcalcic pyropes that plot to the left of the 85% line defined by Gurney (1984). The G10's are generally coarse grained with one pyrope yielding 8.18% Cr2O3 and 2% CaO. All G10 pyrope garnets occur within a defined corridor on the property. A separate eclogitic garnet population shows elevated Na2O along with excellent major element diamond inclusion equivalent chemistry. The chrome diopsides display good major element chemistry (high chromium and high sodium) and the chromites display a linear trend suggesting magmatic groundmass chromites from kimberlite. This mineral chemistry derived from the regional samples is unique to the region, differing from the existing kimberlite and lamprophyric rocks known in the region. All indications suggest a new local kimberlite source. Indicator mineral picking continues on several of the sample fractions. The highest count from the regional till samples is 58 diamond indicator minerals.

Mr. Mike Dufresne of APEX Geoscience Ltd. reported that "I believe the Churchill Diamond Project indicator results as a whole, are some of the best reconnaissance results that I have seen from an early stage project. The high percentage of G10's is remarkable and is likely derived from harzburgitic mantle." APEX Geoscience Ltd. of Edmonton, AB in conjunction with Lithoquest Consulting, BC are responsible for program design and quality control of all exploration at the Churchill Diamond Project.

The Churchill Diamond Project arose from a conceptual proposal developed by Adam Vary of the Hunter Exploration Group. In March 2001 Shear Minerals Ltd. signed an agreement to earn a 50% interest in the Churchill Diamond Project by completing a regional till sampling program and covering all associated acquisition costs. The project area now covers over 540,000 acres of favorable geological terrain in what has the potential to evolve into one of Canada's newest diamond plays. To date Shear has invested over $250,000 in the Churchill Diamond Project. Empire has an option to earn a 35% interest in the Churchill Diamond Project from Hunter by funding $750,000 in exploration expenditures and issuing a total of 300,000 units of Empire to Hunter at a deemed price of $0.65 per unit. Each unit of Empire consists of one common share plus one full warrant exercisable into one common share of Empire for a two-year period priced at $0.85. Empire will earn a 1% direct interest immediately upon regulatory approval. Empire will also issue 50,000 common shares of Empire to Shear and assign Shear its 1% interest upon regulatory approval. The Churchill Diamond Project is subject to a 2% NSR/GORR held by Hunter. Empire and Shear will have First Right of Refusal for all other minerals on any tenure acquired and jointly a First Right of Refusal on Hunter's remaining 14% project interest. Upon closing Shear will have a 51% interest and will be operator of all programs.

Summer plans are being finalized for a detailed airborne geophysical survey over the Churchill Diamond Project area. Ground sampling and ground geophysical surveys will follow-up anomalies identified.

Northern Empire Minerals Ltd. is a well-funded diamond exploration company with an aggressive acquisition and development philosophy. The Churchill Diamond Project represents the fifteenth property in Empire's portfolio. The Company now has exposure to over 3.5 million acres of perspective ground in the Coronation Diamond District, Rankin Inlet area, Melville Peninsula, and the Otish Mountains region of Quebec, making it one of the premier diamond explorers in Canada.

On behalf of the Board,


"John E. Robins"                                   

John E. Robins, P. Geo.
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