Aviat Diamond Joint Venture $4.5 Million Exploration Program Underway


Northern Empire Minerals Ltd. (NEM) and Stornoway Ventures Ltd. (SWV) are pleased to announce that the first phase of airborne geophysical surveying has now commenced on the companies' Aviat Diamond Joint Venture located on the Melville Peninsula region of Nunavut, Canada. Detailed aeromagnetic data is being collected over the Aviat North Project where the discovery of the diamondiferous AV-1 kimberlite was announced earlier this year. A ground geophysical program completed in March 2003 indicated that parts of AV-1 have a prominent magnetic signature and should be easily detected by airborne geophysical methods. Areas targeted for immediate coverage include AV-1, the separate occurrence of diamondiferous kimberlitic boulders discovered in 2002, as well as areas with anomalous kimberlitic indicator minerals identified from till sampling.

This initial phase of exploration will be followed by an aggressive ground follow-up program consisting of prospecting, ground geophysics, geological mapping, regional and detailed till sampling as well as drilling. It is anticipated that at least 2500 till samples will be collected and more than 1500 meters of drilling will be completed before year-end. A drill has been mobilized to the community of Igloolik, located approximately 50km east of the AV-1 discovery and permit applications for the upcoming drill program have been submitted. The total budget for the 2003 work program is estimated at between $4.5-$5.0 million.

Aviat represents one of Canada's largest diamond exploration projects and was established as a joint venture between Northern Empire Minerals Ltd., Stornoway Ventures Ltd. and Hunter Exploration Group in 2002 to explore the Melville Peninsula region of Nunavut for diamonds. The partners have secured interests in over 7 million acres of prospective diamond exploration lands on the Melville Peninsula and are optimistic that exploration may result in the discovery of an entirely new kimberlite field. Exploration activities on the Aviat Joint Venture are under the direction of Dean esserer, P. Geol., of APEX Geoscience Ltd. a qualified person under NI 43-101.

On behalf of the Board

/s/ "John Robins"
John E. Robins, P. Geo

For further information, please contact the
Company at 604-331-2267 or (888) 338-2200

On behalf of the Board

/s/ "Eira Thomas"
Eira M. Thomas
Chief Executive Officer

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


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