Seven Kimberlite Pipes Discovered at Churchill - Drill Program Update


Shear Minerals Ltd. (SRM:TSXV), Northern Empire Minerals Ltd. (NEM:TSXV) and BHP Billiton are pleased to announce that two additional kimberlite pipes have been discovered on the Churchill Diamond Project, Nunavut.

The Kalluk-5 kimberlite is characterized by a roughly circular magnetic high anomaly approximately 150 meters in diameter. Drill Hole CD-009 was drilled to a depth of 106m and intersected 53m of kimberlite. The seventh kimberlite, located 9 km northeast of the Kalluk kimberlites is termed Tuvaaq-1 ("Hunter") and is a magnetic high anomaly with coincident EM approximately 125 m in diameter. Drill Hole CD-010 intersected kimberlite at a depth of 15m and is being drilled in kimberlite at a depth of 74m at the time of this news release. This brings the total number of kimberlite pipes discovered on the property to seven. After this drill hole, the drill will move on to test clusters of magnetic anomalies 20km away from the kimberlite pipes drilled to date.

The current phase of drilling is designed to test a minimum of 15 geophysical targets of the 217 geophysical targets identified to date on the property. The holes drilled to date are all vertical and range in total depth from 65m to 106m and were designed to facilitate the collection of between 100 to 150 kilograms of sample material per kimberlite discovery before proceeding to the next target. Kimberlite samples will be submitted for petrographic, indicator mineral and diamond analysis. Additional drill coring will be required to detail the size, distribution and diamond potential of each kimberlite discovery.

To date, the kimberlite pipes have been described by the field personnel as multiphased including: (a) olivine ilmenite macrocrystic magmatic phase with occasional juvenile lapilli; (b) heterolithic tuffsitic kimberlite breccia with crustal xenoliths and kimberlite autoliths and/or juvenile lapilli; and (c) olivine macrocrystic hypabyssal kimberlite. This is suggestive that preserved crater, diatreme and hypabyssal facies kimberlite pipes exist at the Churchill Property. Full petrographic and mineral chemistry studies are underway and will be conducted on each of the kimberlite pipes.

The Churchill Diamond Project, totaling more than 1.5 million acres, is located in Kivalliq region of Nunavut. The partners are optimistic that this year's exploration may result in the discovery of an entirely new kimberlite cluster at Churchill. In the past year, the joint venture has advanced the project to the 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 that includes additional land acquisition, airborne and ground geophysical surveys, heavy minerals sampling, prospecting and drilling.

The 2003 field program is under the supervision of Dean Besserer, P. Geol. of APEX Geoscience Ltd., a Qualified Person under NI 43-101. Mr. Besserer is responsible for all aspects of the projects supervision including Quality Assurance, Quality Control, and sample Chain of Custody.

Shear has a 51% interest and is operator of all exploration programs. Northern Empire is earning into a 35% interest by incurring $750,000 in exploration expenditures. BHP Billiton has a 14% interest in Churchill and has also agreed to fund the costs of collection, sampling and processing the initial 200 tonnes of kimberlite.

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/ "John Robins"
John E. Robins, P. Geo.
Vice President

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


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