Franconia Minerals Corporation
TSX : FRA

Franconia Minerals Corporation

May 04, 2010 07:30 ET

Franconia Minerals Increases Ownership at Birch Lake to 70%

SPOKANE VALLEY, WASHINGTON--(Marketwire - May 4, 2010) - Franconia Minerals Corporation (TSX:FRA) is pleased to report that its has increased its ownership interest from 60% to 70% in its Duluth Complex copper-nickel-PGM (platinum group metals) properties in northern Minnesota, including the Birch Lake deposit.

In accordance with the terms of the Birch Lake Joint Venture Agreement, an agreement between Franconia and the Beaver Bay Joint Venture (BBJV), signed in 2008, Franconia reached this milestone by meeting certain requirements regarding exploration expenditures and cash payments to BBJV. Franconia continues as the project operator and maintains primary responsibility for managing the approximately 15,000 acres of lands held in the project. Mr. Ernest K. Lehmann, a founder and former director of Franconia, owns a controlling interest in North Central Mineral Ventures Inc., which in turn owns 70% of BBJV.

"We are very pleased to have reached another important ownership milestone in our ongoing development of the Birch Lake property where we are actively drilling and continuing the technical work as part of our pre-feasibility work," said Brian Gavin, President and CEO.

Under the terms of the Birch Lake Joint Venture Agreement, Franconia may earn up to an 82% interest in the project by exercising a further option to fund BBJV's portion of development costs of a mine to commercial production. Franconia would recoup these costs from BBJV's share of proceeds from production.

About Franconia Minerals Corporation (TSX:FRA): Franconia is currently focused on the development of the Duluth Complex copper-nickel-platinum-palladium properties - 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 www.SEDAR.com and www.franconiaminerals.com.

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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