Renard 3 Bulk Sample Returns 126 cpht


Diamonds recovered include ten exceeding one carat; largest diamond weighs 4.30 carats

Robert Boyd, President and CEO of Ashton Mining of Canada ("Ashton" or the "Corporation") is pleased to report encouraging diamond results from 146 tonnes of material collected by reverse circulation ("RC") drilling from the Renard 3 kimberlitic body. The sample was processed by dense media separation ("DMS") and returned 184 carats of diamonds, giving this material an estimated diamond content of 126 carats per hundred tonnes ("cpht"). The 146 tonne sample constitutes part of the 635-tonne bulk sample collected in 2004 by Ashton and its 50:50 joint venture partner, SOQUEM INC. ("SOQUEM"), from the Renard cluster of kimberlitic bodies on the Foxtrot property in north-central Quebec.

The 146 tonnes of material returned ten diamonds weighing more than one carat. The largest diamonds are a 4.30 carat clear colourless octahedral crystal, a 2.70 carat clear colourless tetrahexahedroidal crystal and a 2.29 carat clear colourless octahedron.

The 4.30 carat diamond is the largest diamond recovered thus far from the Renard cluster. A photo of this diamond is available on Ashton's redesigned website in the Quebec photo gallery. Photos of the other diamonds will be posted shortly.

As shown in the table below, the cumulative 165 tonnes of material from Renard 3 processed to date by DMS has returned 204 carats of diamonds for an estimated diamond content of 124 cpht.

Cumulative DMS Diamond Results from Renard 3

Date Reported

Sample Weight (tonnes)

Weight of Diamonds Recovered (carats)

Square Mesh Screen Size (mm)

Estimated Diamond Content (cpht)

Largest Diamonds(carats)

January 26, 2005


184 (Note 1) 



4.30, 2.70, 2.29

December 13, 2004


5.89 (Note 2)




June 9, 2004  


7.81 (Note 2) 



1.82, 1.01

December 18, 2002


6.54 (Note 2)











Note 1: Calculated weight of the material collected by RC drilling

Note 2: Actual weight of the material collected by core drilling

The diamond content of the samples reported to date may not be representative of the overall diamond content of Renard 3 due to a number of factors including the location of the drill holes and the relatively small size of the samples.

Collection and Processing of the Sample

Renard 3 is the southernmost kimberlitic body in the Renard Core Area and has an estimated surface area of 0.3 hectares. The joint venture collected the 146 tonne sample by drilling six vertical RC holes to an average depth of 175 metres. Five out of the six holes terminated in kimberlitic material.

The in-ground weight of the sample was calculated at 146 tonnes by multiplying the volume of each hole by a specific gravity of 2.6 grams per cubic centimetre. The volume of the hole was determined by multiplying its diameter, as measured using a caliper system, by its depth. The specific gravity of 2.6 is the average value determined to date for kimberlitic material collected from the Renard bodies.

The material recovered by drilling was screened in the field to remove particles less than 1.18 mm. As a result, the material processed by DMS weighed 105 tonnes. It was treated at a ten tonne per hour plant located in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The resulting concentrates underwent post-DMS processing and final observation at Ashton's laboratory in North Vancouver, B.C.

Progress Report: 2004 Bulk Sample Program

To date, the 415 tonnes of bulk sample material recovered by core and RC drilling in 2004 has returned 282 carats of diamonds including 12 diamonds weighing more than one carat. Results from the final 220 tonnes of material are expected in the next two months. This material consists of approximately 150 tonnes from Renard 2, 50 tonnes from Renard 4 and 20 tonnes from Renard 65.

The 220 tonnes of material is expected to produce the remainder of the parcel of 300 to 400 carats of diamonds anticipated from the 2004 bulk sample. The valuation of these diamonds will then provide a preliminary determination of diamond value for the Renard cluster.

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 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:

Robert T. Boyd        -or-          Mike Westerlund                 -or-    visit our website:
President and CEO                   Manager, Investor Relations 
(604) 983-7750                                  (604) 983-7750                              email: