New Discoveries And Further Mini-Bulk Sampling In Quebec


Robert T. Boyd, President and CEO of Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. ("Ashton"), is pleased to announce the discovery of two additional kimberlitic bodies on the Foxtrot property and the completion of the summer and fall field program undertaken by Ashton and its joint venture partner, SOQUEM INC. ("SOQUEM"), in north-central Quebec.

New Discoveries

Renard 10

Renard 10 is situated approximately 1.5 km northwest of Renard 65 in an area characterized by a complex geophysical signature. Renard 65 lies near the center of the north-south-trending group of nine kimberlitic bodies that now constitute the Renard cluster.

Renard 10 was discovered by drilling two angle holes in opposite directions across a subtle geophysical anomaly from setups located approximately 235 metres apart. The longest intersection of kimberlitic material measured 25 metres. The geophysical information and drill data presently available for Renard 10 are insufficient to determine the size and shape of the body. The drill data are summarized below.

Renard 10 Drill Data


Drill Intersections (metres)

Drill Hole

Azimuth / Angle from Horizontal (degrees)

Country Rock and Brecciated Country Rock

Hypabyssal Kimberlitic Material with Lesser Kimberlitic Breccia


215 / 50

11.2 - 213.4; 214.7 -237.1; 262.4-273.0;

213.4-214.7; 237.1-262.4


035 / 50

5 -85.2; 95.5 - 141.0

85.2 - 95.5

Drill core from Renard 10 will be processed for diamonds by caustic dissolution at Ashton's laboratory in North Vancouver. Results are expected in the first quarter of 2004.


The Lynx kimberlitic occurrence is situated approximately two kilometres west of Renard 65. Before Lynx was discovered, three 0.4 mm diamonds as well as glacially transported kimberlitic cobbles were recovered from two till sample sites located approximately 350 m and 750 m south of the discovery drill collar and therefore down-ice of the body. Kimberlitic boulders are prevalent on the surface approximately 100 m southwest of the Lynx discovery collar. Approximately four tonnes of this material was collected for diamond analysis.

Lynx was discovered by drilling two angle holes from the same setup across a broad but weak geophysical anomaly. A third hole drilled from a set-up approximately 90 m south of the discovery collar did not intersect kimberlitic material.

The Lynx body and the kimberlitic surface material collected nearby display mineralogical characteristics that are distinct from those of the Renard bodies. The drill data suggest that Lynx is an east-dipping zone of dykes four to five metres wide in which the largest dyke has an estimated true width of approximately one metre. The strike length of the dyke zone has not yet been determined. The drill data are summarized below.

Lynx Drill Data


Drill Intersections (metres)

Drill Hole

Azimuth / Angle from Horizontal (degrees)


Country Rock

Hypabyssal Kimberlitic Material


262 / 50

0 - 1.7

1.7-19.2; 19.7-20.7; 21.2-21.9; 23.6-245.0

19.2-19.7; 20.7-21.2; 21.9-23.6 


262 / 65

0 - 3.6

3.6-19.6; 20.1-24.2; 25.3-60

19.6-20.1; 24.2 -25.3

A second geophysical target coinciding with the Lynx indicator mineral anomaly and located 550 metres south of Lynx was also drilled. The drill intersected a two-metre zone hosting thin kimberlitic dykes at a vertical depth of 50 metres.

Indicator mineral results in the vicinity of the Lynx occurrence and the surrounding area suggest the existence of multiple kimberlitic sources. Further prospecting, indicator mineral sampling and ground geophysical surveys will be necessary to identify the other sources of the kimberlitic surface materials and indicator mineral anomalies that are present in the vicinity.

Initially, surface material from the Lynx area will be processed for diamonds by caustic dissolution at Ashton's laboratory in North Vancouver. Results are expected in the first quarter of 2004. If the caustic fusion results warrant, the four tonnes of kimberlitic surface material described above will be processed by dense media separation ("DMS").

In addition to the targets drilled at Renard 10 and in the vicinity of the Lynx discovery, two other targets were drilled on the Foxtrot property during the recently completed program. No kimberlitic material was intersected at either target.  

Mini-bulk Sampling

During the recently completed program, 17 core holes were drilled into Renard 1, 2, 3 and 4 resulting in the collection of approximately 23.4 tonnes of material. In addition, during the winter 2003 program, samples weighing approximately 1.5 and 2.0 tonnes were collected from Renard 2 and 3. None of this material has yet been processed.

The 26.9 tonnes of material from the 2003 winter and summer programs that has not yet been analyzed will be processed by DMS at Ashton's North Vancouver laboratory before the end of the first quarter of 2004. This material consists of samples from Renard 1, 2, 3 and 4 that weigh approximately 8.0, 7.1, 5.2 and 6.6 tonnes respectively. Once the analysis of these samples is completed, the joint venture will have analyzed by DMS an aggregate total of 63.4 tonnes of material from five of the nine bodies that currently constitute the Renard cluster.

Other Exploration Activities

Renard 7

The diamondiferous Renard 7 kimberlitic body was discovered in late 2002 by drilling one vertical hole and one angle hole at an azimuth of 360°. The longest intersection of kimberlitic material in the two holes measured 15 metres. During the summer 2003 program, a third hole was drilled into the body from a setup located approximately 90 m west of the discovery collar. The hole was drilled along the interpreted strike of the related geophysical anomaly at an inclination of 50 degrees from horizontal at an azimuth of 90°. A 165 metre interval of kimberlitic material was intersected from 38 to 203 metres. Drill core from this hole will be analyzed by caustic dissolution at Ashton's North Vancouver laboratory and results are expected in early 2004.

Foxtrot Property

The summer and fall program included the collection of more than 900 indicator mineral samples and the completion of several ground geophysical surveys on the Foxtrot property.

During the program, glacially transported kimberlitic pebbles, cobbles and boulders were discovered at three additional highly anomalous indicator mineral sample sites that are not associated with either the Renard cluster or the Lynx body. A till sample collected from one of these sites, located approximately six kilometres north of Renard 65, returned a 0.4 mm diamond. At the second of these sites, located three kilometres southeast of Renard 65, kimberlitic float was found in two areas separated by approximately 500 m. The third anomalous indicator site is located approximately 1.2 km north of Lynx. Further prospecting, till sampling and ground geophysical surveys will be required to identify the source of the kimberlitic float observed in these three areas.

Tichegami Properties

The Tichegami mineral claims are located approximately 100 km south of the Foxtrot property. During the summer program, approximately 400 indicator mineral samples were collected and several ground geophysical surveys were completed on these permits.

Future Work

Bulk Sample

The joint venture is currently considering a 2004 program that will include the collection of a bulk sample from at least two of the Renard bodies. The objective of this work will be to collect sufficient material to recover not less than 100 carats of diamonds. This sample is intended to better define the diamond content of the Renard kimberlites and provide a preliminary indication of diamond value. The proposed program also envisages delineation drilling and collecting the first mini-bulk sample from Renard 9.

Drill Target Identification

Indicator mineral sampling results from the 2003 program have led to the identification of at least four highly anomalous indicator mineral dispersions with associated kimberlitic float on the Foxtrot property in areas that are clearly separate from the Renard cluster. Diamonds have been recovered from till samples collected in the areas that coincide with two of these dispersions and the Lynx kimberlitic dyke was discovered near the terminus of one of them.

The 2004 program will give high priority to locating the sources of the three unexplained indicator mineral dispersions and to identifying additional sources in the vicinity of the Lynx occurrence. The program will also focus on the other unexplained indicator mineral anomalies on the Foxtrot property through follow-up work that will include prospecting, indicator mineral sampling and geophysical surveys. 

SOQUEM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SGF Minéral inc., a subsidiary of Société générale de financement du Québec ("SGF"). The mission of the SGF, as an industrial and financial holding company, is to carry out economic development projects, especially in the industrial sector, in cooperation with partners and in accordance with accepted requirements for profitability that comply with the economic development policy of the Government of Quebec. 

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                      email: