2003 Kikerk Lake Exploration Program Approved


Northern Empire Minerals Ltd. ("Northern Empire") is pleased to announce that Northern Empire and its joint venture partners have approved a $600,000 exploration program for the Kikerk Lake property in the Coronation Gulf region of Nunavut. The program includes ground geophysics and drilling of new targets in the winter, and heavy mineral sampling and conversion of the mineral claims to mining leases in the summer.

The investigation of airborne geophysical anomalies through ground geophysical surveys will commence in early April followed by the drilling of high priority targets identified from this work. Of particular interest are a group of three electromagnetic anomalies with associated indicator mineral anomalies underlying lakes approximately 1,000 metres west of the diamondiferous Potentilla kimberlite.

A number of unexplained indicator mineral and geophysical anomalies remain to be investigated. The summer program will focus on detailed heavy mineral sampling up-ice from these anomalies and the collection of property-scale samples.

Past exploration has demonstrated the potential of the Kikerk Lake property. A 5.83 tonne sample collected from Potentilla returned an estimated diamond content of 22.0 carats per hundred tonnes and yielded a 0.34 carat diamond. A second diamondiferous kimberlite, Stellaria, located 700 m east of Potentilla, is interpreted to be a steeply dipping hypabyssal dyke with an approximate true width of 13 metres. Therefore, the 15 mineral claims that comprise the 15,000 hectare property will be taken to lease.

Exploration on the Kikerk Lake property is governed by an agreement among Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. ("Ashton"), Caledonia Mining Corporation ("Caledonia") and Northern Empire. The current respective interests of the parties are Ashton 52.5 percent, Caledonia 17.5 percent and Northern Empire 30 percent. Ashton has exercised an option to increase its interest to 59.5 percent by carrying Caledonia until the completion of a feasibility study. Northern Empire is participating in the current program.

Ashton is the operator of the programs and Brooke Clements, Professional Geologist and Ashton's Vice President, Exploration, is responsible for their design and conduct and the verification and quality assurance of analytical results.

Northern Empire Minerals Ltd. is a leader in the Canadian diamond exploration community with an aggressive acquisition and development philosophy. The Company holds one of Canada's most prospective diamond exploration property portfolios totaling more than 10 million acres. The Company has 16 diamond properties in Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Quebec.

On behalf of the Board
/s/ "John Robins"
John E. Robins, P. Geo

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