Franconia Minerals Corporation
TSX : FRA

Franconia Minerals Corporation

January 16, 2008 08:30 ET

Franconia Minerals Intersects "Longest & Strongest" Mineralization to Date at Birch Lake Copper-Nickel-PGM Project

Intercepts at Western Extremity of Resource Show Significant Expansion Potential

SPOKANE, WASHINGTON--(Marketwire - Jan. 16, 2008) - Franconia Minerals Corporation (TSX:FRA) announced today that core-drilling has intersected the longest, high-grade mineralization found to date at its Birch Lake copper-nickel-PGM (platinum group metals) project in the Duluth Complex. Wedge offset drill hole BL07-11W3, completed near the western edge of the area tested so far (see map), has intercepted 246 feet of 0.77% copper (Cu), 0.21% nickel (Ni), and 1.15 grams per tonne (g/t) Total Precious Metals (TPM = Platinum (Pt) + Palladium (Pd) + Gold (Au)), including 60 ft. at 1.00% Cu, 0.28% Ni and 1.92 g/t TPM. BL07-13, located approximately 950 feet further to the north and slightly east, returned 340 feet of 0.59% Cu, 0.19% Ni and 0.71 g/t TPM, including 19 feet of 0.96% Cu, 0.27% Ni and 1.27 g/t TPM (see table.) These two intercepts are much longer and stronger than the average for the deposit, as calculated in 2006 prior to this most recent round of drilling, of 75 ft. at 0.59% Cu, 0.19% Ni and 1.11 g/t TPM (0.65g/t Pd, 0.32g/t Pt, and 0.14 g/t Au).

"The assays we've received from these latest holes give us very good indications that the resource may be significantly larger and higher grade in the western portion of our property than previously shown" said Brian Gavin, Franconia's President and CEO. "These results also suggest the resource may extend further to the north then previously considered. We look forward to getting back in there as soon as possible in the spring to verify the extent to which we can expand our already substantial resource."

Approximately 90% of the planned 18-hole, 63,000-foot program at Franconia's Birch Lake deposit has now been completed although assay results have to date only been received for 70% of the program.



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January 2008 Drill Results, Birch Lake, Minnesota
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Down
Hole
Inter-
Drill From To val(i) Copper Nickel Platinum Palladium Gold
Hole (ft) (ft) (ft) (%) (%) (g/t) (g/t) (g/t)
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BL07-11W3 2183.2 2429.6 246.4 0.77 0.21 0.32 0.68 0.15
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incl. 2183.2 2243.3 60.1 1.00 0.28 0.57 1.12 0.23
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incl. 2395.1 2420.0 24.9 1.00 0.25 0.20 0.60 0.13
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BL07-11W4 2186.2 2425.4 239.2 0.59 0.17 0.23 0.48 0.11
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incl. 2202.8 2224.1 21.3 0.87 0.20 0.49 0.83 0.25
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incl. 2335.1 2347.0 11.9 1.08 0.22 0.45 0.93 0.14
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BL07-12 1957.7 2042.9 85.2 0.71 0.22 0.22 0.51 0.12
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incl. 1984.3 2006.7 22.4 0.93 0.26 0.32 0.80 0.15
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BL07-13 1710.0 2049.5 339.5 0.59 0.19 0.19 0.42 0.10
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incl. 1712.1 1731.4 19.3 0.96 0.27 0.33 0.89 0.15
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BL07-14 2394.6 2556.8 162.2 0.58 0.17 0.30 0.63 0.15
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BL07-14W2 2393.2 2553.9 160.7 0.54 0.17 0.27 0.57 0.13
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BL07-14W3 2405.4 2559.5 154.1 0.62 0.19 0.28 0.68 0.16
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incl. 2420.1 2452.9 32.8 1.00 0.29 0.46 1.14 0.24
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(i) True thickness is approximately 90% of the down hole interval
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Franconia is rapidly advancing its development work on what is the largest land position of any public company in the Duluth Complex, including three NI 43-101-compliant inferred resources totaling 307 million tonnes. The Complex is believed to contain the third largest unexploited copper-nickel-platinum group metals resources in the world, after Sudbury and Nor'ilsk.

This latest drill program is aimed at converting the current 100.4 million tonne inferred resource on the Birch Lake portion of Franconia's project to an indicated resource and providing samples for bench-scale and pilot plant-scale metallurgical testing, planned for 2008. This inferred resource is in addition to Franconia`s nearby 83 million tonne copper-nickel-PGM inferred resource at Maturi and its nearby underground Inferred Resource at Spruce Road of 124.4 million tonnes, bringing the total underground resource at Franconia's Birch Lake Project to 307.9 million tonnes. Birch Lake, Maturi and Spruce Road are the subjects of independent reports prepared by Scott Wilson Roscoe Postle Associates (Scott Wilson RPA) to NI 43-101 standards (available at www.SEDAR.com and www.franconiaminerals.com).

(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.

The preliminary economic assessment prepared by Scott Wilson RPA - which does not include the Spruce Road resource - contemplates that a combined Birch Lake-Maturi operation would have, over a 26-year mine life, an average annual production of 74 million pounds (lbs) of copper, 19 million lbs of nickel, 2.9 million lbs of cobalt, 68,000 ounces (oz) of palladium, 33,000 oz of platinum and 7,300 oz of gold. All technical data have been reviewed by Brian Gavin, Franconia's president and CEO, Mr. Gavin is an appropriately qualified person as defined by NI 43-101.

The Duluth Complex, a geologic formation located in northeastern Minnesota, extends for 240 kilometers trending from northeast to southwest and hosts a number of copper-nickel-PGM deposits. Collectively these deposits are believed to be one of the largest unexploited resources of these scarce minerals in the world.

Franconia Minerals Corporation trades on the TSX under the symbol FRA. (For additional information see www.franconiaminerals.com.) Franconia currently has 58,186,566 shares issued and outstanding.

Brian Gavin, President and CEO

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.

To view "Drillhole locations at Birch Lake Project, Minnesota", please visit the following link: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/Birch%20Lake.pdf

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