Franconia Minerals Corporation
TSX : FRA

Franconia Minerals Corporation

January 18, 2010 09:00 ET

Franconia Signs Land Agreement for Maturi Copper-Nickel-Platinum Group Metals Property, Minnesota

SPOKANE, WASHINGTON--(Marketwire - Jan. 18, 2010) - Franconia Minerals Corporation (TSX:FRA) ("Franconia") announces that it has reached an agreement with the South Kawishiwi Association LLC, a group of nearby cabin owners who are exchanging surface lands with the US Forest Service for surface rights over a portion of Franconia's Maturi mineral deposit. Under the terms of the agreement, Franconia reinforces its right to access the Maturi Cu-Ni-PGM deposit - via a defined easement - in order to conduct further exploration and possible future development and mining. The agreement also gives Franconia the future right to purchase up to 15 acres of land from the cabin owners for surface facilities in connection with underground mining operations. With the signing of the agreement, the Company agrees to support the cabin owners' land exchange with the Forest Service.

For their part, the cabin owners will receive an initial cash payment and future annual payments. Further, the agreement establishes conditions and procedures by which the cabin owners and Franconia will work together in the future.

The Maturi deposit is one of three copper-nickel-PGM resources outlined thus far in the Birch Lake Project - the other two being the Birch Lake and Spruce Road deposits - in the highly prospective Duluth complex in northeastern Minnesota. The Maturi deposit is the shallow, up-dip extension of Duluth Metal's (TSX:DM) huge Nokomis deposit. ACNC, and its parent company Inco Limited, did extensive drilling at Maturi between 1950 and 1974 and developed a 1,100-foot deep exploration shaft. The uppermost portion of the Maturi deposit reaches within 175 feet of the surface. Maturi is three miles northeast of the Birch Lake deposit.

"While our primary focus remains on the Birch Lake deposit, Maturi holds substantial resources of its own and, along with Spruce Road, clearly demonstrates the excellent additional upside we hold in the Duluth Complex," said Brian Gavin, Franconia's President and CEO.

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 www.SEDAR.com and www.franconiaminerals.com.

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.

To view the Birch Lake Cu-Ni-PGM Project, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/franco.pdf

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