Underground Decline and DMS Construction Advance at Quebec Bulk Sample Project


Further promising results from Renard 4: surface sample from northern zone returns 171 cpht

Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. ("Ashton" or the "Corporation") reports that the 10,000 tonne Renard bulk sample program continues to proceed at a rapid pace following the collection of approximately 2,000 tonnes of kimberlitic material by trenching on Renard 4. Significant progress now achieved by Ashton and its 50:50 joint venture partner, SOQUEM INC. ("SOQUEM"), includes advancing the underground decline at Renard 2 and 3 to a total length of 71 metres, mobilizing the components of the dense media separation ("DMS") test facility to the project site, and commencing the construction of the DMS facility and associated infrastructure.

To increase its understanding of the diamond potential of the surface material of Renard 4, the joint venture processed an additional 2.9 tonne sample. This sample was shown to contain 171 carats per hundred tonnes ("cpht"). Together with the previous encouraging results from the same area, these data suggest that the approximately 2,000 tonne sample now collected by surface trenching at Renard 4 has the potential to return significantly more than the original target of 2,000 carats of diamonds.

"At the moment, the Foxtrot property is a very busy place with more than 60 workers on site," commented Robert T. Boyd, Ashton's President and CEO. "Given the many months of preparation and hard work, we are very pleased by our progress as we work towards beginning to recover diamonds late in 2006. We are also pleased with the encouraging diamond results from the northern zone of Renard 4. The surface exposure of this body represents some of the richest diamond-bearing rock found in outcrop in Canada to date."

Bulk Sample Update

Monterie-Expert, under the supervision of Genivar Inc., has now collared the portal and is advancing the excavation of the underground decline toward Renard 2 and 3. Upon completion, the decline and associated crosscuts will have a total length of approximately 525 metres. To date, 71 metres have been excavated. At the planned mining rate, the crew is expected to reach kimberlite in October.

All of the components for the DMS test facility are now onsite. Under the supervision of Hatch Ltd., Lajoie Somec Construction Inc. has erected the coverall structure that will house the DMS and has initiated the assembly and construction of the facility. The processed kimberlite retaining pond has been completed and lined, and will be filled with water in preparation for DMS operations.

Mr. Boyd added, "Please visit the Ashton website to see our progress. It now includes a four-minute video that brings the bulk sample program to life, and we are continuing to update the photo gallery with new images from the program."

The video is available at http://www.ashton.ca/investor_presentation_bulk_sample_video.html. Updated photos of the program are also available at http://www.ashton.ca/projects_quebec_photo_gallery.html.

Renard 4 Results Update

A bulk sample of approximately 2,000 tonnes of kimberlite has now been collected from the exposed area at the north end of Renard 4, and has been stockpiled for processing later this year. Both kimberlite breccia and macrocrystic (hypabyssal) kimberlite are present in the exposed area and form part of the bulk sample. A 2.9 tonne surface sample that consists of both materials was recently processed by DMS at Ashton's North Vancouver laboratory. The sample returned 4.97 carats of diamonds for an estimated diamond content of 171 cpht. As shown in the table below, these results are consistent with the diamond results previously reported for surface material in this area.

Renard 4 Northern Zone Surface Material- Cumulative DMS Diamond Results

Date Reported


Weight of Sample (tonnes)

Weight of Diamonds Recovered (carats) (+1.18 mm)

Estimated Diamond Content (cpht)
(Note 1)

August 24, 2006




October 5, 2005




December 22, 2004








Note 1- The estimated diamond content of the surface material, reported as cpht of diamonds greater than 1.18 mm, is not representative of the overall diamond content of the body.

Results to date indicate that the surface material from the northern zone of Renard 4 has the highest diamond content thus far measured in the Renard cluster of kimberlitic bodies.

Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. and SOQUEM INC.

Ashton's prime objective is the discovery or acquisition of diamond prospects capable of rapid advancement to development and production. The Corporation is recognized as one of the leading explorers in the Canadian diamond industry. Ashton's competitive advantages include the significant exploration experience of its key personnel as well as its extensive in-house diamond laboratory facilities in North Vancouver.

SOQUEM INC. is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Société générale de financement du Québec ("SGF"). The mission of the SGF, an industrial and financial holding company, is to undertake economic development projects in the industrial sector in cooperation with partners and in compliance with the economic development policies 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 a Qualified Person pursuant to National Instrument 43-101. Mr. Clements is responsible for the design and conduct of the Corporation's exploration programs and for the verification and quality assurance of analytical results.

For further information, please contact:

Robert T. Boyd            -or-
President and CEO
(604) 983-7750

Mike Westerlund                  -or-
Manager, Investor Relations
(604) 983-7750

visit our website: 
email: contact@ashton.ca