Franconia Minerals Corporation

Franconia Minerals Corporation

June 23, 2010 07:30 ET

Franconia Minerals Extends Birch Lake Copper-Nickel-PGM Deposit With Drill Hole Intersecting 130 Feet of 1.34% Copper Equivalent

Drilling Adding to Mineralized Zone; Deposit Remains Open to East

SPOKANE VALLEY, WASHINGTON--(Marketwire - June 23, 2010) - Franconia Minerals Corporation ("Franconia") (TSX:FRA) is pleased to present results from holes BL10-05 and BL 10-06, part of the ongoing 2010 drilling program at the Birch Lake deposit in northern Minnesota (see table and map). Both drill holes are located on the eastern margin of the Birch Lake deposit and were stepped out approximately 500 feet from previous holes. The mineralized zone remains open in that direction.

"These results continue to extend the mineralized zone and indicate potential for the discovery of additional resources to the east of the known resource," said Brian Gavin, President and CEO of Franconia. "We are optimistic that this drill program will provide us with a sufficient Indicated Resources for mine planning purposes and, importantly, also demonstrates that our drilling has not yet reached the margins of the mineralized zone."

Results of the 2010 Drill Program, Birch Lake, Minnesota
Drill From To Down Copper Nickel Plat- Palla- Gold Copper
Hole (ft) (ft) Hole (%) (%) inum dium (g/t) Equi-
Inter- (g/t) (g/t) valent
val (%)(ii)
BL10-6 2452.8 2582.6 129.8 0.68 0.17 0.183 0.417 0.108 1.34
includes 2452.8 2517.0 64.2 0.86 0.22 0.256 0.559 0.140 1.74
includes 2452.8 2482.5 29.7 0.93 0.24 0.296 0.638 0.161 1.89
BL10-5 2608.4 2659.0 50.6 0.41 0.16 0.309 0.479 0.257 1.16
includes 2632.3 2659.0 26.7 0.52 0.16 0.436 0.561 0.092 1.37
(i) True thickness is estimated to be approximately 90% of the down hole
(ii) Copper equivalent (CuEq%) = Cu% + 2.42 x Ni% + 3.09 x Co% + 0.25 x Au
g/t + 0.71 x Pt g/t + 0.17 x Pd g/t
Based on metal prices and expected process recovery.

Drilling Update: A total of 13 holes for 33,000 feet are planned for 2010. The goal of the current program is to drill additional holes to convert as much as possible of the previously delineated inferred resource to the indicated category and to add additional, newly defined inferred resources. This work is part of a pre-feasibility program including metallurgical, geologic, environmental and waste characterization studies currently underway at Birch Lake.

Copper Equivalent is based on US metal prices of: copper - $2.25/lb; nickel - $7.50/lb; cobalt - $20.00/lb; gold - $950/oz; platinum - $1,300/oz; and, palladium - $350/oz. The methodology with metallurgical recoveries, refining costs and other charges are also being considered for all metals in accordance with the Net Smelter Return Factors contained in the May 29, 2009 NI 43-101 Resource Estimate produced by Scott Wilson RPA (see below).

This latest drilling is designed to follow on from the resource estimate completed in 2009 at Birch Lake. In that study, Scott Wilson Roscoe Postle Associates (Scott Wilson RPA) estimates an Indicated Resource(i) of 131.2 million tones as well as an Inferred Resources of 37.5 million tones for the Birch Lake deposit. This represented a 21% increase in the amount of Indicated Resource from the previous estimates (see tables). Independent reports prepared to NI 43-101 standards by Scott Wilson RPA are available at and


Franconia Minerals Corporation, Birch Lake Property, Minnesota

Indicated Resources(1),(3),(6),(7)
Cut-off Tonnes(5) Cu Ni Co Pt Pd Au CuEq(4) NSR
NSR(8) (000's) % % % g/t g/t g/t % US$
$20 131,213 0.561 0.175 0.010 0.263 0.569 0.127 1.332 51

Inferred Resources(1),(3),(6),(7)
Cut-off Tonnes(5) Cu Ni Co Pt Pd Au CuEq(4) NSR
NSR(8) (000's) % % % g/t g/t g/t % US$
$20 37,471 0.546 0.166 0.009 0.227 0.495 0.112 1.251 47

1. CIM definitions were followed for Mineral Resource estimation and
2. Mineral Resources are estimated for the deposit as defined and wireframed
based on Cu:Pd, Ni:Pt ratios, mineral occurrence and other lithologic and
stratigraphic factors.
3. Mineral Resources were estimated using average long-term metal US$ prices
of $7.50/lb nickel, $2.25/lb copper, $20/lb cobalt, $1,300/oz platinum,
$350/oz palladium and $950/oz gold.
4. Copper equivalent (CuEq%) = Cu% + 2.42 x Ni% + 3.09 x Co% + 0.25 x Au g/t
+ 0.71 x Pt g/t + 0.17 x Pd g/t based on metal prices and expected
process recovery.
5. Bulk density is 3.07 t/m3 as averaged from specific gravity testing.
6. Co, Au, Pt, Pd grades, that are lacking in historic drill holes, have
been entered in the resource database based on regression of assay grades
from Franconia drill hole assays.
7. Resources are estimated from approximately 336 m depth to approximately
830 m depth.
8. NSR=$43.76 x Cu% + $108.94 x Ni% + $134.00 x Co%+ $11.02 x Au g/t +
$30.70 x Pt g/t +$7.51 x Pd g/t - $8.00 (treatment)
9. Scott Wilson RPA recommends reporting resources for the $20 NSR cut-off.

((i)An indicated mineral 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. The Birch Lake deposit is currently classified as an inferred resource, which 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 to have a consistent grade of mineralization.)

Core samples were prepared at the ALS Chemex Ltd. Laboratories in Thunder Bay and then shipped to its analytical facilities in Vancouver. Samples were analyzed for gold, platinum and palladium using a standard fire assay with an ICP finish, as well as for 34 base metals and trace elements using a four-acid (near-total) digestion and a combination of ICPMS and ICPAES. ICP over-limits were reanalyzed using sodium peroxide fusion and acid dissolution followed by ICPAES.

Qualified Person: Other than the noted historic resource estimate authored by Scott Wilson RPA, all technical data described in this press release have been reviewed by Franconia's President and CEO, Brian Gavin. Mr. Gavin is an appropriately qualified person as defined by NI 43-101.

About Franconia Minerals Corporation (TSX:FRA): Franconia is currently focused on the development of the Duluth Complex copper-nickel-platinum-palladium project - consisting of the Birch Lake, Maturi and Spruce Road deposits - in this highly prospective region of northeastern Minnesota. The latest 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 (see news release dated September 23, 2009). 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

Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements:

This news release contains certain forward-looking statements and information. The forward-looking statements and information express, as at the date of this press release, the Corporation's plans, estimates, forecasts, projections, expectations or beliefs as to future events and results. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by us, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies and there can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate. Therefore, actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Risks and uncertainties that could cause results or future events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, our lack of operating cash flow and dependence on external financing; availability of financing, as and when required to increase our interest in the mineral properties held in the Duluth Complex Project, and to finance our day-to-day operations and planned growth and development; any decline in the prices of platinum group metals, copper, and nickel; discrepancies between actual and estimated mineral resources; operational and development risk; the speculative nature of mineral exploration; regulatory risks, environmental risks and hazards, uncertainty as to calculation of mineral resources and other risks. Although Franconia Minerals Corporation believes many of its properties have promising potential, these properties are in the early stages of exploration and 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.

Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements or information. The Corporation undertakes no obligation to reissue or update forward-looking statements or information as a result of new information or events after the date hereof except as may be required by law. See the Corporation's annual information form for additional information on risks, uncertainties and other factors relating to the forward-looking statements and information. All forward-looking statements and information made in this news release are qualified by this cautionary statement.

To view a map of the Birch Lake Cu-Ni-PGM Deposit: Location of Completed 2010 Drill Holes, please visit the following link:

The TSX has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the contents of this news release, which has been prepared by management.

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