Ashton Announces Renard 9 Diamond Results


Largest diamond a 1.7 carat clear pale yellow octahedron

Robert T. Boyd, President and CEO of Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. ("Ashton" or the "Corporation"), is pleased to report that a 71.3 tonne sample collected from the Renard 9 kimberlitic body on the Foxtrot property in north-central Quebec has returned 31.9 carats of diamonds, giving the sample an estimated diamond content of 45 carats per hundred tonnes ("cpht"). The two largest diamonds, a 1.7 carat clear pale yellow octahedron and a 0.63 carat clear colourless octahedron, are shown in the photograph displayed on Ashton's website at

The sample was collected by Ashton and 50:50 joint venture partner, SOQUEM INC. ("SOQUEM"), by reverse circulation ("RC") drilling during March and April of this year. Including the 71.3 tonne sample, the cumulative 83.5 tonnes of material collected to date from Renard 9 has an estimated diamond content of 52 cpht.

Four diamonds greater than 1.5 carats in weight have been recovered thus far from Renard 9: the 1.7 carat diamond announced here, the 1.5 to 2.0 carat diamond reported on April 12, 2006 that remains embedded in a kimberlitic chip, and the diamonds weighing 3.58 and 3.26 carats that were reported in 2005. These results demonstrate the potential for the body to host a population of large, commercial-sized diamonds.

Cumulative DMS Diamond Results from Renard 9

Date Reported

Sample Weight (tonnes)

Weight of Diamonds Recovered (carats) (Note 1)

Estimated Diamond Content (cpht)(Note 2)

Largest Diamonds (carats)

July 20, 2006


31.9 (Note 3)


1.70 and 0.63

June 27, 2005




3.58 and 3.26







Note 1- All diamonds recovered are larger than 1.18 mm using a square mesh screen.

Note 2- The estimated diamond content, expressed as cpht, may not be representative of the overall diamond content of the body due to a number of factors, including the location of the drill holes, the presence of large diamonds in the sample and the size of the sample.

Note 3- Excludes the 1.5 to 2.0 carat diamond announced on April 12, 2006. This diamond remains embedded in a chip of kimberlitic material collected by RC drilling. As a result, its weight cannot be accurately determined.

Located 50 metres south of Renard 4, Renard 9 is interpreted as having a strike length of 160 metres and a near-surface horizontal width that ranges from 25 to 60 metres. Renard 9 is principally composed of two kinds of rock: kimberlitic breccia with variable country dilution, and macrocrystic (hypabyssal) kimberlitic material. Zones of country rock breccia are present along the margins of the body.

Results to date suggest that the diamond content is higher in samples containing a greater proportion of macrocrystic material and less country rock dilution. The next steps in evaluating Renard 9 will focus on better defining the zones characterized by elevated diamond content.

On the basis of the drill data collected to the end of 2005, the joint venture has estimated that Renard 9 contains from 3.6 to 4.0 million tonnes of kimberlitic material. As noted in the Corporation's news release issued on November 8, 2005, the tonnage estimate is conceptual in nature and does not constitute a mineral resource as defined by National Instrument 43-101.

The joint venture collected the 71.3 tonne sample from Renard 9 by drilling three vertical RC holes along the north-south axis of the body. The holes terminated in country rock breccia at 192, 182, and 137 metres respectively. The in-ground weight of the sample was calculated at 71.3 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 using down-hole caliper methods. The specific gravity of 2.6 grams per cubic centimetre is the average value determined to date for kimberlitic material collected from the Renard bodies. The RC material was screened in the field to remove particles less than 1.18 mm. As a result, the material processed by dense media separation ("DMS") at Ashton's North Vancouver laboratory weighed 45.5 tonnes.

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 diamond laboratory facilities in North Vancouver.

SOQUEM INC. is a wholly owned 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 a Qualified Person pursuant to National Instrument 43-101. Mr. Clements is responsible for the design and conduct of the Corporation's exploration programs and for the verification and quality assurance of analytical results.

For further information, please contact:

Robert T. Boyd            -or-
President and CEO
(604) 983-7750

Mike Westerlund                  -or-
Manager, Investor Relations
(604) 983-7750

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