Renard 9 Tonnage Estimated at 2.4 Million Tonnes

Core Area tonnage increased to 22.4 million tonnes

Robert T. Boyd, President and CEO of Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. ("Ashton"), is pleased to announce an initial tonnage estimate of 2.4 million tonnes for the Renard 9 kimberlitic body. This estimate is based on data from drilling programs conducted by Ashton and its 50:50 joint venture partner, SOQUEM INC. ("SOQUEM"). These results bring the cumulative estimated tonnage for Renard 2, 3, 4, 65, and 9 to 22.4 million tonnes. These five bodies, together with Renard 8, are situated within the Core Area of the Renard cluster on the Foxtrot property in north-central Quebec.

The 2005 winter drilling program in the Core Area was very successful and resulted in a 27 percent increase in tonnage over the initial estimates announced in February 2005. The additional tonnage is primarily due to increased tonnage for Renard 2 and 3 and to the 2.4 million tonnes of material now attributed to Renard 9.

Updated Summary of Estimated Tonnage and Diamond Results - Renard Core Area

Kimberlitic Body

Estimated Tonnage
(million tonnes) (Note 1) 

Post-May 2004 Dense Media Separation Results

Weight of Sample (tonnes)

Estimated Diamond Content of Sample (cpht) (Note 2)

Renard 2




Renard 3




Renard 4




Renard 65




Renard 9







Note 1- Wardrop Engineering Inc., a geological and engineering consulting firm, prepared the tonnage estimates.

Note 2 - The estimated diamond content, expressed in carats per hundred tonnes or "cpht" of diamonds >1.18 mm, may not be representative of the overall diamond content of the individual bodies due to a number of factors, including the location of the drill holes and the small size of the sample.

A three dimensional visual representation of the tonnage defined to date in the Core Area can be viewed on Ashton's website at

Next Steps

As reported on March 3, 2005, a 6.04 tonne sample collected from Renard 9 in 2004 returned 5.56 carats of diamonds including a stone weighing 3.26 carats, giving this sample an estimated diamond content of 92 carats per hundred tonnes. During the winter field season, an additional sample of approximately six tonnes of kimberlitic material was collected from Renard 9. This material will be processed by dense media separation at Ashton's North Vancouver laboratory and results are expected before the end of the second quarter.

The joint venture believes that a strong potential exists to further increase the tonnage of Renard 9 and the other bodies in the Core Area through additional drilling. Further drilling in 2005 is therefore under consideration to identify kimberlitic material beyond the 22.4 million tonnes already estimated for the Core Area. This work is expected to result in the collection of a mini-bulk sample from Renard 8.

Incremental increases of tonnage estimates for the Core Area are likely to have a positive impact on the evaluation of the economic potential of the Renard cluster.

Background Information

Located approximately 50 metres south of Renard 4, Renard 9 has an interpreted near-surface horizontal width that varies from 25 to 60 metres with a strike length of 160 metres. One near- vertical and six inclined holes were drilled into the body during the winter field program. During the same program, two inclined holes drilled into Renard 4 were extended in the direction of Renard 9. In both cases, the drill passed through approximately 30 metres of country rock between the two bodies before intersecting, respectively, 80 and 120 metres of kimberlitic material within Renard 9.

The tonnage estimate for Renard 2, 3, 4, 65 and 9 does not constitute a mineral resource. Instead, this calculation is simply an order-of-magnitude estimate of the potential tonnage of the four bodies. The tonnage was calculated by multiplying the respective interpreted volumes for each body, as determined in a three-dimensional wire frame model, by a specific gravity of 2.6 grams per cubic centimetre. The specific gravity of 2.6 is the average value determined to date for kimberlitic material collected from the Renard bodies. The model assumes an area of influence of five to ten metres around the actual drill hole intersection. In some cases, only limited drill data are available. There exists potential to revise the current tonnage estimates through additional drilling.

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 is recognized as one of the leading explorers in the Canadian diamond industry. Ashton's competitive advantages include the significant exploration experience of its key personnel as well as its extensive 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-    Mike Westerlund                -or-        visit our website:
VP, Exploration                Manager, Investor Relations            
(604) 983-7750                (604) 983-7750                                   email: