Northern Empire and Stornoway Receive Shareholder Approval for Merger


Vancouver, British Columbia - Northern Empire Minerals Ltd. ("Northern Empire") (NEM - TSXV) and Stornoway Ventures Ltd. ("Stornoway") (SWV - TSXV) (the "Companies") are pleased to announce that the business combination of the Companies previously announced on May 20, 2003 (the "Arrangement") has been overwhelmingly approved by over 98% of each of their respective shareholders. Under the transaction, Northern Empire will acquire all the common shares of Stornoway in exchange for Northern Empire issuing 0.8734 common shares of Northern Empire to the shareholders of Stornoway for each issued and outstanding common share of Stornoway.

Closing of the transaction is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions precedent including court approval of the Arrangement of Stornoway and TSX Venture Exchange final approval. The Companies anticipate that if all conditions precedent are satisfied, the closing of the Arrangement will take place on July 16, 2003 after market close. If closing occurs at such time, Stornoway's shareholders will have their Stornoway shares exchanged for Northern Empire shares prior to market opening on July 17, 2003, and shortly following such exchange Stornoway's shares will be halted and delisted from the TSX Venture Exchange.

Upon completion of the Arrangement, the Board of Directors of Northern Empire will be co-chaired by John E. Robins and Catherine McLeod-Seltzer and will consist of John E. Robins, Catherine McLeod-Seltzer, Eira M. Thomas, D. Bruce McLeod and Peter Nixon. 

As a result of the Arrangement, Northern Empire will hold the assets of Stornoway and Northern Empire, Stornoway will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Northern Empire. The 35% minority property interests held by each of the Companies in the Aviat Property situated on the Melville Pennisula in Nunavut will become a majority interest held by one company which will have greater control over the exploration and development of the 7 million acre Aviat Property. The combined company will also give its shareholders exposure to ongoing exploration programs in several other prospective diamond regions throughout Canada including the Churchill and Coronation areas of Nunavut as well as the Otish Mountain area of Quebec. Combined, the new company's diamond properties will encompass over 11 million acres, making its landholdings one of the largest in Canada.

On behalf of the Board

/s/ "John Robins"
John E. Robins, P. Geo

For further information, please contact the
Company at 604-331-2267 or (888) 338-2200

On behalf of the Board

/s/ "Eira Thomas"
Eira M. Thomas
Chief Executive Officer

For further information, please contact the
Company at 604-687-7545 or (888) 338-2200


The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release