Ashton Announces Diamond Results From Renard 2 and Renard 3 Drill Core


Robert T. Boyd, President and CEO of Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. ("Ashton" or the "Corporation"), is pleased to report encouraging diamond results for samples of drill core collected from the Renard 2 and 3 kimberlitic bodies in 2004. After processing by dense media separation ("DMS") at Ashton's North Vancouver laboratory, an 11.54 tonne sample from Renard 2 and an 8.63 tonne sample from Renard 3 returned estimated diamond content of 115 and 68 carats per hundred tonnes ("cpht") respectively. 

Renard 2 and 3 are two of the six diamondiferous kimberlitic bodies situated within a 0.5 square kilometre "Core Area" of the Renard cluster on the 200,000 hectare Foxtrot property in north-central Quebec. Ashton and its joint venture partner, SOQUEM INC. ("SOQUEM"), are currently completing the analysis of a 635 tonne bulk sample collected from Renard 2, 3, 4 and 65 in 2004. 

Renard 2 and 3 Diamond Drill Core Results

Renard 2 is located approximately 200 metres northwest of Renard 3 and has an approximate surface area of 0.6 hectares. The 11.54 tonne sample was collected by drilling eight core holes during the winter and summer field seasons, and returned 13.30 carats of diamonds larger than 1.18 mm using a square aperture screen. These results give the sample an estimated diamond content of 115 cpht. The three largest diamonds recovered are a 1.18 carat brown tetrahexahedroid crystal, a 0.94 carat brown octahedral crystal and a 0.76 carat grey octahedral composite crystal.

Renard 3 is the southernmost kimberlitic body in the Renard Core Area and has an estimated surface area of 0.3 hectares. The 8.63 tonne sample was collected during the summer of 2004 by drilling eight core holes into the body. The sample returned 5.89 carats of diamonds larger than 1.18 mm using a square aperture screen, giving the sample an estimated diamond content of 68 cpht. The largest diamond recovered is a clear partial crystal weighing 0.88 carat.

As shown in the table below, the cumulative 25.07 tonnes of material from Renard 2 processed to date has returned 22.02 carats of diamonds for an estimated diamond content of 88 cpht. The cumulative 18.62 tonnes from Renard 3 has returned 20.24 carats for an estimated diamond content of 109 cpht.

Cumulative Renard 2 and 3 DMS Diamond Results from Drill Core

Date Reported

Sample Weight (tonnes)

Weight of Diamonds Recovered (carats)

Square Mesh Screen Size (mm)

Estimated Diamond Content (cpht)

Largest Diamonds

Renard 2






  December 13, 2004





1.18, 0.94, 0.76

  February 11, 2004


















Renard 3






  December 13, 2004






  June 9, 2004





1.82, 1.01

  December 18, 2002













Commentary on Results 

The most recent diamond data from Renard 2 and 3 are substantially different from those returned by earlier samples. The diamond contents of individual samples may not be representative of the overall diamond content of these bodies due to a number of factors, including the location of the drill holes and the relatively small size of the samples. Results from the approximate 150 tonnes of material collected from each of Renard 2 and Renard 3 by reverse circulation ("RC") drilling will be reported in the first quarter of 2005.

In total, results from approximately 380 of the 635 tonnes of kimberlitic material collected in 2004 are still pending and are expected in the first quarter of 2005. This material includes the approximate 150 tonnes of RC material from Renard 2 and 3, as well as the approximate 50 tonnes of RC material and 10 tonnes of drill core from Renard 4, and 20 tonnes of RC material from Renard 65.

As announced earlier, the cumulative 635 tonnes of kimberlitic material collected from Renard 2, 3, 4 and 65 in 2004 is expected to yield at least 300 carats. This parcel of diamonds will provide the basis for a preliminary determination of diamond value and rock value for the Core Area. To date, 315 tonnes of material collected and processed from four of the six Renard bodies situated within the Core Area has returned 28 diamonds greater than 0.5 carat including five that exceed one carat in size.

Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. and SOQUEM INC.

Ashton's prime objective is the discovery or acquisition of diamond prospects capable of rapid advancement to development and production. The Corporation has positioned itself among the leading explorers in the Canadian diamond industry. Ashton's key competitive advantages include significant exploration experience and its in-house processing and laboratory facilities in North Vancouver, dedicated exclusively to the Corporation's exploration projects.

SOQUEM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SGF Minéral inc., a subsidiary of Société générale de financement du Québec ("SGF"). The SGF, the Quebec industrial and financial holding company, has as its mission to undertake economic development projects in the industrial sector in cooperation with partners and in compliance with the economic development policies 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-     Mike Westerlund                              -or-       visit our website:
President and CEO              Manager, Investor Relations                
(604) 983-7750                    (604) 983-7750                                                 email: