First Kimberlite Intersected


Shear Minerals Ltd. (SRM: TSXV), Northern Empire Minerals Ltd. (NEM:TSXV) and BHP Billiton today announced that the 2003 drill program at the Churchill Diamond Program has commenced and that the initial drill hole has discovered the first kimberlite pipe on the property.

Drill hole number CD001 was designed to test CK151, a circular magnetic low anomaly. The vertical drill hole tested the centre of the anomaly and intersected kimberlite at a depth of 35 feet. Michael Dufresne, P. Geol. of APEX Geoscience Ltd., is the Qualified Person on site and describes the macrocrystic kimberlite and breccia with visible olivine macrocrysts and picroilmenite. The hole remains in kimberlite at a depth of 287 feet. Core has been sent for petrographic analysis to R.L. Barnett Geological Ltd. in order to determine and confirm the mineralogy of the kimberlite.

"We hit kimberlite on the first drill-hole and within the first 12 hours of drilling which is very encouraging," said Pamela Strand, President and CEO of Shear. "The much anticipated drill program is now well underway."

A review of last year's 16,307 line-km aeromagnetic survey completed on the original 500,000 acre claim block identified 217 kimberlite targets at Churchill. In March this year, ground geophysical data was acquired on 30 of these anomalies resulting in 23 priority drill targets. This phase of drilling is designed to test a minimum of 15 of these targets. These priority drill areas have also recently been targeted by a Fugro helicopter magnetic-electromagnetic system survey.

Shear holds a vested 51% interest and is operator at Churchill. As per the June 2, 2003, news release BHP Billiton has purchased a 14% interest in Churchill for $3 million and has also agreed to fund the costs of collecting, sampling and processing the initial 200 tonnes of kimberlite. Northern Empire is earning into a 35% interest at Churchill by incurring $750,000 in exploration expenditures.

"Given our kimberlite discovery we are optimistic that this year's exploration may result in the discovery of an entirely new kimberlite cluster at Churchill Diamond Project," said Ms. Strand.

The joint venture has acquired additional lands to the claim block making the Churchill Diamond Project a total of more than 1.5 million contiguous favorable acres. In the past year, the joint venture has advanced the project to the current drill-ready stage by conducting a comprehensive exploration program that included kimberlite indicator mineral sampling, prospecting and geophysics. In January 2003, the partners approved a budget of $2.5 million program. All programs are under the supervision of Dean Besserer, P. Geol., of APEX Geoscience Ltd., a qualified person under NI 43-101.

On behalf of the Board

/s/ "Pamela Strand"
Pamela Strand

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

On behalf of the Board

/s/ "D. Bruce McLeod"
D. Bruce McLeod, P. Eng
Vice President

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


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