Final Renard 65 Mini-Bulk Sample Results


Robert T. Boyd, President and CEO of Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. ("Ashton"), is pleased to report final diamond results for the mini-bulk sample collected during the winter 2003 program from the Renard 65 kimberlitic body. Renard 65 has a surface area of approximately 1.5 hectares and is one of eight diamondiferous kimberlitic bodies discovered by Ashton and its joint venture partner, SOQUEM INC. ("SOQUEM"), on the Foxtrot property in north-central Quebec.

The sample weighed 17.62 tonnes. Kimberlitic breccia with varying country rock xenolith content constituted approximately 85 per cent of the sample. The remainder consisted of hypabyssal material.

As reported on June 26, 2003, a colourless octahedral diamond with an estimated weight of at least four carats was found in a sample of kimberlitic breccia undergoing preparation for processing through the dense media separation ("DMS") plant at Ashton's North Vancouver laboratory. Given the geological and historical significance of this diamond, it has been left embedded in the core. Consequently, its precise weight cannot be determined. As indicated in the table below, this stone has been excluded from the calculation of the estimated diamond content of the samples collected from Renard 65 to date.

Diamond results from DMS processing of an initial portion of the sample weighing 6.95 tonnes were announced on July 22, 2003. The results from the second portion weighing 10.67 tonnes are shown in the table below together with results from the first portion. On a composite basis, the 18.44 tonnes of material analyzed to date from Renard 65 (including 0.82 tonnes collected in 2002) has an estimated diamond content of 33 carats per hundred tonnes ("cpht"). Larger samples will be required in order to determine the diamond grade of the body.

DMS Diamond Results for Renard 65 - 2002 and 2003

Date Reported

Sample Weight (tonnes)

Weight of Diamonds >0.85 mm Recovered (carats)

Diamond Content (cpht)
August 29, 2003


            2.50 (Note 1) 


July 22, 2003




October 9, 2002 (Note 2)



(Note 3)



            6.06 (Note 4) 


Note 1: The largest stone is a grey composite crystal that weighs 0.46 carats.
Note 2: In 2002, Renard 65 was believed to consist of two separate bodies, Renard 5 and 6.
Note 3: Not applicable due to small sample size.
Note 4 : Excluding the plus-four carat diamond reported on June 26, 2003.

Future Work

The joint venture has now analyzed approximately 36 tonnes of material from Renard 2, 3, 4 and 65 by DMS. The four bodies are located within the 0.5 square km core area of the Renard cluster that also hosts the diamondiferous Renard 8 and Renard 9 bodies. Excluding the plus-four carat stone reported on June 26, the 36 tonnes of material has returned approximately 20 carats of diamonds exceeding 0.85 mm using a square aperture screen. The four largest of these stones weigh 0.92, 0.77, 0.73 and 0.46 carats.

The plus-four carat diamond and the DMS results suggest the presence of a population of larger diamonds within the Renard cluster. Consequently, the joint venture believes that a larger sample from one or more of the Renard bodies is warranted to better define diamond content and obtain a preliminary indication of potential diamond value. A fall drill program will therefore be conducted on several of the bodies to assist the joint venture in developing a plan for the collection of a bulk sample designed to yield a parcel of diamonds of at least 100 carats.

Exploration work on the 200,000 hectare Foxtrot property continues. More than 700 indicator mineral samples have been collected on the property this year, and a number of priority anomalies are under investigation by ground geophysics. High priority targets will be drilled commencing in mid-September. In addition, a mini-bulk sample weighing approximately eight tonnes was collected from the diamondiferous Renard 1 kimberlitic body during the summer field season by drilling seven core holes. Renard 1 is located 300 metres north of Renard 65. DMS results from this sample are expected before the end of 2003.

SOQUEM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SGF Minéral inc., a subsidiary of Société générale de financement du Québec ("SGF"). The mission of the SGF, as an industrial and financial holding company, is to carry out economic development projects, especially in the industrial sector, in cooperation with partners and in accordance with accepted requirements for profitability that comply with the economic development policy 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:

Robert T. Boyd President and CEO (604) 983-7750
Salimah Lalli Investor Relations (604) 983-7750
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