Collection Of Renard 9 Sample Now Complete


Robert T. Boyd, President and CEO of Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. ("Ashton" or the "Corporation") is pleased to report that a sample of approximately 65 tonnes of kimberlitic material has now been collected from the Renard 9 kimberlitic body on the Foxtrot property in north-central Quebec. This sample constitutes a portion of the material that Ashton and its 50:50 joint venture partner, SOQUEM INC., will collect in order to recover a cumulative parcel of at least 6,000 carats of diamonds from Renard 2, 3 and 4 as well as Renard 9.

The sample was collected by drilling three reverse circulation ("RC") and 11 core holes, and will be processed by dense media separation ("DMS") at the Corporation's North Vancouver, B.C., laboratory. Diamond results are expected by the end of the second quarter.

While logging drill cuttings at the RC drill site, a geologist observed a diamond protruding from a chip of kimberlitic material. As the diamond remains embedded in the chip, its precise weight and overall dimensions have not been determined. The exposed dimensions of the diamond measure approximately seven by five by four millimetres, indicating an estimated weight of 1.5 to 2.0 carats. A photograph of the diamond, which appears to be a pale brown tetrahexahedroidal crystal, is available on Ashton's website at This diamond, the four carat diamond in drill core from Renard 65, and the 5.7 carat diamond recovered from Lynx surface boulder material will be displayed at the Corporation's 2006 Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held in Vancouver on April 27.

In 2005, a cumulative 12.2 tonnes of material from Renard 9 returned an estimated diamond content of 97 carats per hundred tonnes, including diamonds weighing 3.3 and 3.6 carats, after analysis by DMS.

Bulk Sample Update

The joint venture has now mobilized most of the fuel, supplies and equipment required for the 2006 bulk sample and exploration programs to the Foxtrot property. The mobilization was primarily carried out by two chartered DHC-5A Buffalo aircraft that utilized the 1,250 m ice airstrip constructed by the joint venture on a lake near the Renard cluster. The ice airstrip remains serviceable at this time and the mobilization of supplies is continuing. The Corporation will provide further updates on the progress of the bulk sample program and the results of exploration drilling during the next several weeks.

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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