Largest Renard Body at Least 294 Metres Deep


As announced on April 23, 2003 by Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. ("Ashton"), the Renard 5 and 6 kimberlitic intrusions on the Foxtrot property in north-central Quebec constitute a single body. The combined body, now renamed "Renard 65", is the largest kimberlitic intrusion discovered on the property to date and has a surface area of approximately 1.5 hectares. Robert T. Boyd, President and CEO of Ashton, is pleased to report that Renard 65 has a minimum depth approaching 300 metres.

Ashton and its joint venture partner, SOQUEM INC. ("SOQUEM"), have now completed the 2003 winter program described in Ashton's news releases of January 13, April 10 and April 23. The primary objective of the program was to better define, by further delineation drilling and mini-bulk sampling, the size and diamond content of the kimberlitic bodies situated within a 0.5 square km. core area of the Renard cluster. In addition, the Renard 9 kimberlitic body was discovered during the program by target drilling and more than 200 line km of ground geophysics were completed.

Delineation Drilling and Mini-bulk Sampling

Renard 65

During the winter program, three vertical and 12 angle holes were drilled at Renard 65. The three vertical holes terminated in kimberlitic material at depths of 231, 284 and 294 m. The angle holes included a 300 m hole drilled along the north-south axis of Renard 65 at an inclination of 50 degrees from horizontal. This hole reached a vertical depth of approximately 230 m and returned kimberlitic material from its entire length. The angle holes also included a hole that was drilled perpendicular to the north-south axis to locate the southern boundary of the body. This hole intersected two intervals of kimberlitic material with horizontal widths of five and seven metres, indicating that Renard 65has a minimum strike length of 300 m.

Renard 4

After the drilling described in Ashton's news release dated April 10, four more angle holes were drilled at Renard 4. The data from these holes confirm that the interpreted minimum surface area of this body is 1.0 hectares. As a result of this drilling, an additional two tonnes of material was collected, bringing to five tonnes the estimated total quantity of kimberlitic material recovered from Renard 4 during the winter program.

Renard 2 and 3

No additional drilling was conducted at Renard 2 or 3 after the April 10 news release.

The table below summarizes the results of the mini-bulk sampling and delineation drilling data at Renard 2, 3, 4 and 65:

Drill and Mini-Bulk Sample Data - 2001-2002 and Winter 2003 Programs





Sample Material Collected For DMS Diamond Recovery Purposes



Number of Holes Drilled to Date

Drill Depth (m)

Estimated Minimum
 Surface Area

Estimated Weight of Material Collected to Date in 2003

Weight of Material Collected in 2002 (tonnes)

Total Sample Material Collected

Estimated Diamond Content
From 2002 Samples (cpht)

Renard 2








Renard 3








Renard 4








Renard 65







(Note 1)

Note 1: Size of sample insufficient to estimate diamond content. Two diamonds weighing 0.92 and 0.26 carat were recovered from the 0.8 tonnes of material collected in 2002.

The mini-bulk samples collected during the 2003 winter program will be processed through the dense media separation ("DMS") plant at Ashton's North Vancouver laboratory. Results from Renard 4 and Renard 65 are expected before the end of July. Further drilling on Renard 2 and 3 during the upcoming summer program is currently under consideration. If the joint venture decides to proceed with additional drilling, material collected from Renard 2 and 3 during the winter program will be processed after the summer drilling program has been completed.

Renard 8

Renard 8 is located approximately 350 m northwest of Renard 2. As announced on October 4, 2002, the body was discovered by drilling two angle holes across a geophysical anomaly approximately 75 m long and 40 m wide. During the winter 2003 program, two additional holes were drilled across Renard 8 from a setup located northeast of the body. The first hole was drilled at 50 degrees from horizontal and encountered kimberlitic breccia from 52 to 59 and 91 to 123 m before terminating in country rock at 167 m. The second hole was drilled at 60 degrees from horizontal and encountered kimberlitic breccia from 65 to 123 m. This hole was terminated in kimberlitic material because of drilling problems.

Kimberlitic material collected from Renard 8 and 9 will be processed by caustic dissolution at the Ashton laboratory with results expected in the third quarter.

Further Work in 2003

The joint venture will continue with previously approved exploration programs over the 153,000 hectare Foxtrot property and the other 127,000 hectares of highly prospective mineral permits held in north-central Quebec. This work will include additional target drilling, geophysical surveying and heavy mineral sampling.

The results of the winter 2003 program have enlarged the surface dimensions of Renard 3, 4 and 65 and significantly extended the known depth of Renard 65. The joint venture views these developments as particularly encouraging. Once the principal diamond results from the program are available, Ashton and SOQUEM will determine the extent of further drilling and sampling that is warranted for the Renard cluster.

SOQUEM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SGF Minerals Inc., a subsidiary of Société Générale de Financement du Quebec ("SGF"). The mission of the SGF is to carry out economic development projects in Quebec 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-          Ariel Bowers            -or-         visit our website:
President and CEO                     Investor Relations            
(604) 983-7750                         (604) 983-7750