Large Diamond Found In Renard 65 Drill Core


Robert T. Boyd, President and CEO of Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. ("Ashton"), is pleased to report that a diamond with exposed surfaces measuring approximately 8.8 x 8.2 x 4.8 mm has been found in drill core recovered from the Renard 65 kimberlitic body in north-central Quebec. Situated on the 153,000 hectare Foxtrot property held by Ashton and its joint venture partner SOQUEM INC. ("SOQUEM"), Renard 65 has a surface area of approximately 1.5 hectares.

The diamond was revealed when a sample of kimberlitic breccia was being prepared for processing through the dense media separation ("DMS") plant at Ashton's North Vancouver laboratory. The stone remains embedded in the core and its precise weight and overall dimensions have therefore not been determined. The measurements of the exposed surfaces suggest that the diamond has a minimum weight of four carats. The stone appears to be a colourless octahedral composite crystal. Ashton will post on its website a photograph of the diamond as it appears in the drill core.

The core containing the diamond was recovered in the winter of 2003 from a hole drilled in the northern part of Renard 65 during the collection of a 17 tonne mini-bulk sample. While the processing of the sample continues, none of the DMS concentrates has been observed. Ashton expects to complete the analysis of the sample and report results by the end of July.

SOQUEM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SGF Minéral inc., a subsidiary of Société générale de financement du Quebéc ("SGF"). The mission of the SGF is to carry out economic development projects in cooperation with partners and in accordance with accepted requirements of profitability.

Ashton is the operator of the joint venture's exploration programs. Brooke Clements, Professional Geologist and Ashton's Vice President, Exploration, is responsible for their design and conduct, and for the verification and quality assurance of analytical results.

For further information, please contact:          

Robert T. Boyd        -or-          Salimah Lalli            -or-         visit our website:
President and CEO                     Investor Relations            
(604) 983-7750                      (604) 983-7750