First Renard 9 Mini-Bulk Sample Returns 92 cpht


Robert T. Boyd, President and CEO of Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. ("Ashton" or the "Corporation") is pleased to report that a 6.04 tonne sample from the Renard 9 kimberlitic body returned an estimated diamond content of 92 carats per hundred tonnes ("cpht"). Ashton and its 50:50 joint venture partner, SOQUEM INC. ("SOQUEM") collected the sample by core drilling in 2004.

Situated on the Foxtrot property in north-central Quebec, Renard 9 is one of six kimberlitic bodies in the 50 hectare "Core Area" of the Renard cluster. Four of these bodies, Renard 2, 3, 4 and 65, were the subject of a 664 tonne bulk sample program in 2004 that yielded 457 carats of diamonds. Twenty-five of the diamonds weigh more than one carat, including eight greater than two carats.

The 6.04 tonne sample was collected by drilling seven angle and two vertical core holes. The kimberlitic material was processed by dense media separation at Ashton's North Vancouver laboratory and returned 5.56 carats of diamonds larger than 1.18 mm using a square aperture screen. The largest two diamonds recovered are a 3.26 carat gray translucent composite crystal and a 0.68 carat pale brown clear irregular stone. A photo of these diamonds is available on Ashton's website in the Quebec photo gallery at:

The diamond content of 92 cpht may not be representative of the overall diamond content of Renard 9 due to a number of factors, including the location of the drill holes, the small size of the sample and the recovery of the 3.26 carat diamond. The 3.26 carat diamond accounts for 59 percent of the 5.56 carats of diamonds that were recovered from the sample. Excluding this stone would reduce the estimated diamond content of the sample to 38 cpht.

Located approximately 50 metres south of Renard 4, Renard 9 was discovered by drilling in 2003. The drill data suggest that it varies in width from 25 to 55 metres and has a strike length of approximately 160 metres. Renard 9 is interpreted to consist of kimberlitic breccia with variable country rock dilution and associated zones of Peripheral Breccia. "Peripheral Breccia" is defined as country rock and country rock breccia with more than 10 percent kimberlitic material. The 6.04 tonne sample included both kimberlitic breccia and Peripheral Breccia. More drilling is required to understand the spatial relationship between the kimberlitic breccia and the Peripheral Breccia.

Commentary on Results

These encouraging initial results suggest that Renard 9 could add significantly to the potential of the Core Area. Additional drilling on this body will commence before the end of March. The drilling program is designed to better define the geometry and tonnage potential of Renard 9 and to acquire additional material for diamond testing.

With these results, five of the six kimberlitic bodies in the Core Area have returned at least one diamond larger than two carats in size. The largest diamond recovered to date is a 4.3 carat clear colourless octahedral crystal from Renard 3. The frequency with which diamonds greater than two carats have been recovered from the Renard bodies to date is encouraging. These stones, although usually a small percentage of the diamonds recovered from a deposit, account for a majority of their total value.

Renard 8 is the sixth diamondiferous kimberlitic body in the Core Area. Work completed on this body to date is insufficient to assess its size and diamond potential.

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 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 the Société générale de financement du Québec ("SGF"). The mission of the SGF, an industrial and financial holding company, is 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:

Brooke Clements        -or-            Alessandro Bitelli         -or-      visit our website:
Vice President, Exploration           Vice President, Finance   
(604) 983-7750                             (604) 983-7750                         email: