Second Renard 2 Mini-Bulk Sample Returns 65 cpht


Robert T. Boyd, President and CEO of Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. ("Ashton"), is pleased to report an estimated diamond content of 65 carats per hundred tonnes ("cpht") for a 2.50 tonne sample collected from the Renard 2 kimberlitic body in 2002.

Situated in the Otish Mountains region of north-central Québec on the 153,000 hectare Foxtrot property currently being explored by Ashton and its joint venture partner, SOQUEM INC. ("SOQUEM"), Renard 2 was discovered in late 2001 by drilling a geophysical anomaly. As shown in the table below, an initial 2.44 tonne mini-bulk sample collected in early 2002 returned an estimated diamond content of 69 cpht.

A second sample weighing 2.50 tonnes was collected during the summer mini-bulk sampling program by drilling three core holes. The sample consisted dominantly of kimberlitic breccia with numerous intersections of hypabyssal material and country rock. After processing through the dense media separation plant at Ashton's North Vancouver laboratory, the sample returned a total of 1.62 carats of diamonds larger than 0.85 mm using a square aperture screen. As shown in the table below, these results give the sample an estimated diamond content of 65 cpht. Larger, more representative samples are required to determine the diamond grade of the Renard 2 body.

Summary of DMS Diamond Results - Renard 2

Date Reported

Sample Weight (tonnes)

Diamonds Recovered (>0.85 mm) (carats)

Diamond Content (cpht)

January 24, 2003




June 11, 2002








Intersections of hypabyssal material that ranged from two to six metres in length were selected from each of the three drill holes. Weighing 434 kg in total, these hypabyssal intersections were processed separately and returned 1.17 of the 1.62 carats recovered from the 2.50 tonnes of material.

The 2.50 tonne sample returned five diamonds greater than 0.10 carats. Four of these diamonds are colourless and originated from the hypabyssal material. They are described as follows: a 0.38 carat composite crystal, two fragments weighing 0.16 and 0.11 carats, and a cube weighing 0.14 carats. The fifth diamond is a pale brown composite crystal weighing 0.12 carats that was recovered from the breccia. …/2

Ashton's news releases dated June 11 and October 4, 2002 summarize the data from the nine holes drilled to date at Renard 2. These data suggest that this body has approximate minimum surface dimensions of 120 m x 65 m.

The combined results of the 4.94 tonnes of material tested to date confirm the potential of Renard 2. As outlined in Ashton's news release dated January 13, 2003, the joint venture will implement an aggressive winter exploration program that will include additional sampling and delineation drilling of this and other Renard kimberlitic bodies. Mobilization for this program will commence in early February.

Ashton is the operator of the joint venture's exploration 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. SOQUEM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SGF Minerals Inc., a subsidiary of Société Générale de Financement du Québec ("SGF"). The mission of the SGF is to carry out economic development projects in cooperation with partners and in accordance with accepted requirements of profitability.

For further information, please contact:          

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