High Priority Kimberlite Targets at Churchill Project - 2003 Exploration Program Underway


Northern Empire Minerals Ltd. ("Northern Empire") and Shear Minerals Ltd. ("Shear") (TSXV:SRM) today announced that the 2003 field program has been mobilized to their Churchill Diamond Project and that results from the 2002 heavy mineral sampling program and airborne geophysical survey continue to indicate the presence of diamondiferous kimberlites on the project.

A review of the geophysical data by independent consultant Christopher Campbell of Intrepid Geophysics, Vancouver B.C., identified a total of 217 kimberlite targets including 29 of high priority. These isolated magnetic targets are suggestive of kimberlite and were picked from data acquired during a 16,307 line-km fixed wing aeromagnetic survey conducted in the autumn of 2002.

A field crew has been mobilized to the project to conduct ground geophysical surveys. Detailed Total Magnetic Field and Electromagnetic data will be acquired on 30 of the targets identified by Mr. Campbell that are located up-ice from anomalous indicator mineral samples and float occurrences. Results from this program will be used to target drilling currently scheduled to begin in the late spring of 2003.

During the 2002 field season, a total of 130 regional samples were collected by APEX Geoscience Ltd. and processed at the Saskatchewan Research Council. Of these samples, 27 yielded diamond indicator minerals with one sample containing 45 pyrope garnets and two eclogitic garnets grains. Probe confirmed kimberlitic grains include pyrope garnet, olivine, chrome diopside, chromite and ruby corundum. These new results confirm those previously obtained whereby 46% of the 107 total pyrope garnets identified in 29 samples were G10 subcalcic pyropes as defined by Gurney (1984). Three of these G10 pyrope garnets are significantly subcalcic and have the following compositions: (1) 12.27% Cr2O3, 2.83% CaO; (2) 13.96% Cr2O3, 4.75% CaO and (3)12.45% Cr2O3, 3.72% CaO.

Additionally, two spatially separate occurrences of kimberlite float were also discovered on the property within a corridor coincident with recovered indicator minerals. The mineral chemistry recovered from the regional samples is unique to the region, differing from the existing kimberlite and lamprophyre rocks already known to occur locally.

The Churchill Project was based upon a conceptual model targeting the Churchill Craton of the Keewatin district of Nunavut. Shear is the operator of the project and holds a 51% interest with partners Empire holding 35% and Hunter Exploration 14%. The project now comprises more than 1,000,000 acres of favorable ground near Rankin Inlet on Hudson Bay. The companies recently announced (January 30, 2003) a $2.5 million exploration program on the project.

Northern Empire Minerals Ltd. is a leader in the Canadian diamond exploration community with an aggressive acquisition and development philosophy.The Company holds one of Canada's most prospective diamond exploration property portfolios totaling more than 10 million acres.The Company has 16 diamond properties in Nunavut , Northwest Territories and Quebec.

On behalf of the Board
/s/ "John Robins"
John E. Robins, P. Geo

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