Ashton Options Its Wholly-Owned Coronation Gulf Properties

Mini-bulk sample of Artemisia kimberlite planned

Robert T. Boyd, President and CEO of Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. ("Ashton" or the "Corporation"), is pleased to report that Ashton and Vaaldiam Resources Ltd. ("Vaaldiam") have entered into an option agreement that will advance the evaluation of Ashton's five wholly-owned properties in the north Slave Craton region of Nunavut: Kim, Ric, Vic, Eokuk and James River (the "Coronation Gulf Properties"). As part of this evaluation, a mini-bulk sample of the Artemisia kimberlite, one of five diamond-bearing kimberlites located on the Coronation Gulf Properties, is planned.

Under the terms of the agreement, Ashton has granted Vaaldiam an exclusive option to acquire a 40 percent joint venture interest in the Coronation Gulf Properties by sole-funding the next $3.0 million of exploration costs before December 31, 2008, of which $1.0 million must be spent by December 31, 2006. In addition, subject to regulatory approval, Vaaldiam must issue to Ashton a total of 195,000 common shares over the three-year term of the option. Vaaldiam will be the operator for the 2006 program with Ashton retaining the right of operatorship after 2006.

Vaaldiam is planning to collect a mini-bulk sample from the surface of the approximately three-hectare Artemisia kimberlite. As reported on July 31, 2002, an 11 tonne mini-bulk sample collected from this body returned an estimated diamond content of 10.69 carats per hundred tonnes. Additional exploration activities contemplated by the agreement include sampling of the other known kimberlites and further investigation of the more than 10 unexplained indicator mineral anomalies.

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.

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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