Franconia Minerals Corporation

Franconia Minerals Corporation

November 12, 2009 09:00 ET

Franconia Launches Waste Characterization Studies at Birch Lake Copper-Nickel-PGM Project

SPOKANE, WASHINGTON--(Marketwire - Nov. 12, 2009) - Franconia Minerals Corporation (TSX:FRA) ("Franconia") is pleased to report the initiation of a Waste Characterization Study program on its the Birch Lake copper-nickel-platinum group metal (PGM) deposit, one of three underground resource areas identified so far at Franconia's Birch Lake Project in Minnesota. A recently updated NI 43-101 report(i) estimates an Indicated Resource of 131.2 million tonnes, plus an Inferred Resource of 37.5 million tonnes for the Birch Lake deposit (see news release of September 23, 2009).

Waste characterization is a scientific process used to predict how natural waste materials - primarily rock - will weather when they are exposed or stockpiled during the mining process. The long term results of these studies will be used in the design and development of any future mine plan in order to minimize or eliminate potential environmental impacts created by such weathering.

Franconia has engaged the services of Geochimica, Inc. to conduct the independent studies. Representatives of Geochimica, Inc. recently began their review of Franconia's project documents, including the Company's preliminary mine development plan. The team is also developing an understanding of the geology of the deposit by examining drill core and other geologic data particularly as it relates to ore and gangue mineralogy. Core and other rock samples will also be identified for initial testing in preparation for an examination of all types of potential waste.

"We know that each deposit in the Duluth Complex will have somewhat unique mineralogy and rock types - making the findings from these studies very important to our mine design," said Dr. William C. Brice, Director of Government & Community Relations for Franconia. "Additionally, important information is also available from other deposits and years of waste characterization research which has been conducted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources within the Duluth Complex. Combining the results of all the studies will enable us to design the most environmentally benign mine that we can."

Added Brian Gavin, Franconia's President and CEO, "This is just one of a number of studies we are beginning to conduct on the Birch Lake deposit as we advance our development plans through the coming year or so. Our goal is to be ready to become the second company in the Duluth Complex, after Polymet, to build a mine. Of course, a key difference is that we are targeting an underground deposit to mine, which logically, should produce a relatively small amount of waste rock to be stockpiled at the surface."

(i)The new estimate was prepared by Richard Routledge, of Scott Wilson RPA, an appropriately qualified person according to National Instrument 43-101 and the Technical Report supporting this estimate, prepared to NI 43-101 standards, was filed and is available on SEDAR.

The Birch Lake deposit currently contains both Indicated and Inferred resources. An Indicated Resource is a portion of a mineral resource for which quantity, grade, and other characteristics can be estimated with a level of confidence sufficient to support mine planning and additional economic evaluation of the project. An Inferred Resource is that part of a mineral resource for which certain characteristics can be estimated based on geological evidence and limited sampling and which can be reasonably assumed, but not verified, to have geologic and mineralization grade continuity.

About Franconia Minerals Corporation (TSX:FRA): Franconia is currently focused on the development of the Birch Lake copper-nickel-platinum-palladium project - consisting of the Birch Lake, Maturi and Spruce Road deposits - in the highly prospective Duluth complex in northeastern Minnesota. The recently updated NI 43-101 report estimates an Indicated Resource of 131.2 million tonnes, plus an Inferred Resource of 37.5 million tonnes for the Birch Lake deposit. Underground mining at Birch Lake will minimize the surface impact of the operation. Also, storage of mine wastes underground would further minimize the surface impact. Additional resources at the Birch Lake project include Inferred Resources at the Maturi deposit (see news release of September 6, 2006) and at the Spruce Road deposit (see news release of December 3, 2007). Independent reports prepared to NI 43-101 standards by Scott Wilson RPA are available at and

Franconia Minerals Corporation trades on the TSX under the symbol FRA and currently has 59,082,572 shares issued and outstanding.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENT: Although Franconia Minerals Corporation believes many of its properties have promising potential, these properties are in the early stages of exploration. None have yet been shown to contain proven or probable mineral reserves. There can be no assurance that such reserves will be identified on any property, or that, if identified, any mineralization may be economically extracted.

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