Renard Mini-Bulk Sampling Update Financing Oversubscribed


Robert T. Boyd, President and CEO of Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. ("Ashton"), is pleased to provide a progress report on the analysis of the mini-bulk samples collected to date from the Renard kimberlitic bodies discovered by Ashton and its joint venture partner, SOQUEM INC. ("SOQUEM"), on the Foxtrot property in north-central Quebec.

Renard Cluster Core Area

Six of the nine Renard bodies are located within an area that measures less than 0.5 square kilometres (the "Core Area"). Mini-bulk samples with a cumulative total weight of 56.2 tonnes have been collected from four of these bodies, namely Renard 2, 3, 4 and 65. To date, 36.5 tonnes of this material has been processed by dense media separation ("DMS") at Ashton's North Vancouver laboratory resulting in the recovery of 24 carats of diamonds.

Forty-nine of the diamonds weigh at least 0.10 carats. Nine of these diamonds range in weight between 0.25 and 0.92 carats. The largest diamond was recovered from Renard 65 and remains embedded in drill core. As previously announced, the dimensions of the exposed surfaces of this diamond suggest a minimum weight of four carats. The table below summarizes the results of the mini-bulk samples collected from the Core Area to date.

Core Area Mini-bulk Sampling Results

Kimberlitic Body

Estimated Size

DMS Sample Weight (tonnes)

Diamonds Recovered (>0.85 mm) (carats) 

Ten Largest

Diamond Content (cpht) 



Renard 2







Renard 3





0.73, 0.31, 0.25


Renard 4





0.28, 0.26


Renard 65




(Note 1)

+4.0, 0.92, 0.77, 0.26

(Note 1)





(Note 2)


(Note 2)


Note 1: Excluding the plus-four carat diamond, the weight of the diamonds is 6.06 carats giving this material an estimated diamond content of 33 cpht.

Note 2: Excluding the plus-four carat diamond, the cumulative weight of the diamonds is 19.98 carats giving these samples a cumulative estimated diamond content of 55 cpht.

DMS results from the remaining 19.7 tonnes of material collected in 2003 from Renard 2, 3 and 4 are expected by the end of the first quarter of 2004.

Renard 9, which was discovered in early 2003, is also located within the Core Area. As announced on August 7, this body returned initial diamond results that compare favourably to the initial results derived from the other kimberlitic bodies within the cluster. A mini-bulk sample will therefore be collected from Renard 9 during the first quarter of 2004.

The joint venture is very encouraged by the existing results which provide a basis for determining the nature, extent and scope of the 2004 program. On August 28, Ashton announced that this program would include the collection of a bulk sample designed to yield a parcel of at least 100 carats of diamonds. Development of the 2004 program has continued and the joint venture now envisages the collection of a larger cumulative bulk sample of at least 500 tonnes from several of the kimberlitic bodies in the Core Area. This work is expected to yield a parcel of diamonds of more than 200 carats which will allow a preliminary determination of the value of the diamonds in the Renard cluster.

Renard 1

Renard 1 was discovered in 2001 and has a surface area of approximately 1.2 hectares. Situated approximately 400 metres north of Renard 65, Renard 1 is located outside of the Core Area. As reported on October 9, 2002, a sample of 0.30 tonnes of drill core collected in 2001 returned no diamonds after processing by DMS. Given its size, Renard 1 was deemed to warrant further investigation. This work was deferred in favour of advancing the evaluation of the kimberlitic bodies with more encouraging initial diamond results.

In August of this year a mini-bulk sample from Renard 1 weighing 8.50 tonnes was collected from five angle holes and one vertical hole. The sample was composed of approximately equal amounts of kimberlitic breccia and hypabyssal material. After processing by DMS at Ashton's North Vancouver laboratory, this material returned a total of 0.78 carats of diamonds greater than 0.85 mm using a square aperture screen. The largest diamond recovered was a colourless octahedron weighing 0.12 carat. On a cumulative basis, the 8.8 tonnes of material from Renard 1 analyzed to date by DMS has an estimated diamond content of nine carats per hundred tonnes. No further work is planned on this body.

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.


On October 28, 2003, the Corporation announced its intention to raise $7 million through a brokered private placement. As outlined in a second announcement made on October 29, the total amount to be raised was increased to $12 million through a $5 million private placement to QIT-Fer et Titane inc., a member company of the Rio Tinto group.

The agents for the brokered portion of the private placement have advised the Corporation that the offering is oversubscribed. It is now expected to raise gross proceeds approaching $10 million, bringing the aggregate gross proceeds expected from the financing to $15 million. The applicable transactions are scheduled to close on November 20, 2003.

For further information, please contact:

Robert T. Boyd        -or-         Salimah Lalli          -or-        visit our website:
President and CEO                   Investor Relations                   
(604) 983-7750                        (604) 983-7750                      email: