Ashton Mining Completes Summer Bulk Sample Program In Quebec


Program is expected to yield at least 300 carats of diamonds

Robert T. Boyd, President and CEO of Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. ("Ashton"), is pleased to announce that Ashton and its 50 percent joint venture partner, SOQUEM INC. ("SOQUEM"), have completed the collection of a bulk sample from the Renard 2, 3, 4 and 65 kimberlitic bodies located on the 200,000 hectare Foxtrot property in north-central Quebec. Other exploration activities on the property continue with an update on preliminary results expected in the near-term.

The bulk sample was collected from Renard 2, 3, 4 and 65, four of the nine diamond-bearing kimberlitic intrusions that constitute the Renard cluster. The 2004 program also includes target drilling and a more detailed investigation of the Lynx Anomaly and other promising areas. Ashton is pleased to report that the program is progressing as planned.

Approximately 390 tonnes of kimberlitic material was collected during the summer portion of the bulk sample program by drilling 15 reverse circulation ("RC") holes and 23 core holes. The cumulative sample of over 620 tonnes collected to date this year is expected to return at least 300 carats of diamonds that will provide the basis for a preliminary determination of diamond value. 

The following table summarizes the approximate weight of the material collected from each of the four Renard bodies in 2004.

Bulk Sample Collected by Drilling in 2004

Kimberlitic body

RC drilling (tonnes)

Core drilling (tonnes)

Total sample (tonnes)

Drilling completed

Renard 2





Renard 3





Renard 4





Renard 4





Renard 65





Renard 65










Diamond results from the 140 tonnes collected from Renard 65 during the winter were reported on September 2, 2004. Results from the 91 tonne Renard 4 winter sample are expected in October. Processing of the Renard 2, 3, 4 and 65 summer samples will commence in October and diamond results from each sample will be released as they become available. The final results of the 2004 program, including the diamond valuation, are expected in the first quarter of 2005.   

The joint venture's Foxtrot program continues to constitute the most advanced diamond exploration activity in Quebec. The favorable diamond content and presence of commercial-sized diamonds in the earlier mini-bulk samples strongly endorse the current year's goal of acquiring a parcel of diamonds sufficient for an initial determination of diamond value. The valuation of the 300-carat parcel of diamonds anticipated from the 2004 bulk sample is planned for early 2005.

Ashton and SOQUEM are committed to determining the potential of the Renard cluster and to realizing the greater exploration potential of the Foxtrot property. The joint venture will apply the results of the current year's program, including the preliminary determination of diamond value, to evaluate the alternatives for advancing the Quebec project. Further work could include collecting a larger bulk sample, resource definition drilling and economic modeling.

About 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. Ashton has positioned itself among the leading explorers in the Canadian diamond industry. Its key competitive advantages include significant exploration experience and its in-house processing and laboratory facilities in North Vancouver exclusively dedicated to Ashton'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-    Brooke Clements           -or-       visit our website:
President and CEO             Vice President, Exploration
(604) 983-7750                  (604) 983-7750                           email: