Franconia Minerals Corporation

Franconia Minerals Corporation

January 14, 2008 09:00 ET

Franconia Minerals Reports "No Change in Water Quality" From Birch Lake Copper-Nickel-PGM Project Drilling

SPOKANE, WASHINGTON--(Marketwire - Jan. 14, 2008) - Franconia Minerals Corporation (TSX:FRA) announced today that independent testing by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources ("DNR") Division of Lands and Minerals has found "no change in water quality in Birch Lake as a result of the (Company's) drilling program." Franconia is aggressively expanding and advancing development of its resources at the Birch Lake copper-nickel-PGM (platinum group metals) project in the Duluth Complex, work that has included six exploration drill holes from a barge on Birch Lake in the second half of 2007.

"We are extremely pleased that the DNR has confirmed the effectiveness of our program and processes to protect the environment," said Brian Gavin, Franconia President and CEO. "The entire Franconia organization - from the Board to the members of our drill team - is dedicated to this goal and we will continue our diligence. We also welcome the help and support we are receiving from the Minnesota government and the community in our efforts to advance this world-class project with as little environmental impact as possible."

Birch Lake, a generally less than 25-foot deep body of water located about seven miles east of Babbitt, MN, is a feature on Franconia's Birch Lake property. In order to minimize contamination risks, the Company took numerous steps including the use of casing through water and lake bottom sediments well into bed rock to insure that no drill cuttings or return water entered the lake, using absorbent mats under motors and fuel handling areas, attaching protective skirts and floating containment booms around the barge, as well as cementing all holes on completion.

The DNR conducted water sampling during the drilling of all six holes to determine if there were any changes in water quality associated with the exploration drilling. According to their report, "All results for pH, specific conductance, and turbidity met water quality guidelines. Suspended solids and dissolved oxygen results were in the expected range." The report noted that while three of the total 70 samples "slightly exceeded the water quality level of concerns for Total Phosphorous," all three were found upstream and so were "not likely the result of drilling activity."

The full report will be available shortly on Franconia's website:

Birch Lake is part of the Franconia's Birch Lake Project, which covers the largest land position held by any publicly-traded company in the Duluth Complex, where three independent NI 43-101 studies have combined Franconia's estimated total inferred resources at 307 million tonnes. The Duluth Complex is believed to contain the third largest unexploited copper-nickel-platinum group metals resources in the world, after Sudbury and Nor'ilsk.

The Birch Lake deposit contains an inferred resource of 100.4 million tonnes grading 0.59% Copper (Cu), 0.19% Nickel (Ni), 0.65 g/t Palladium (Pd) and 0.32 g/t Platinum (Pt.) This latest drill program is aimed at converting the current inferred resource to an indicated(i) resource and providing samples for bench-scale and pilot plant-scale metallurgical testing, planned for 2008. This inferred resource at Birch Lake is in addition to Franconia`s nearby 83 million tonne copper-nickel-PGM inferred resource grading 0.70% Cu, 0.26% Ni, 0.25 g/t Pd and 0.09g/t Pt. at Maturi and its nearby underground Inferred Resource at Spruce Road of 124.4 million tonnes grading 0.59% Cu and 0.21% Ni (no assays were conducted to measure Pd or PT at Spruce Road), bringing the total underground resource at Franconia's Birch Lake Project to 307.9 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.62% Cu and 0.22% Ni. 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 and

((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.)

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 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.

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