Almaden Minerals Ltd.

Almaden Minerals Ltd.

October 17, 2005 14:20 ET

Almaden Minerals Ltd.: Drilling Underway at the Santa Isabela Project, Mexico

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 17, 2005) - Almaden Minerals Ltd. ("Almaden") (TSX:AMM) is pleased to announce that Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation ("JOGMEC") is exploring Almaden's 100% owned Santa Isabela property located in Coahuila State, Mexico. Almaden has optioned the Santa Isabela property to JOGMEC under terms whereby JOGMEC can acquire a 60% interest in this project by spending US$1.5 Million on the property by September 30, 2008. JOGMEC has also committed to spend US$300,000 by October 31, 2005. Almaden is the operator on the Santa Isabela property for this initial expenditure. The diamond drill program will consist of roughly 1500 meters in five holes and has been designed to test geochemical and geophysical anomalies identified coincident with where high-grade surface values of lead, zinc and silver were retuned from samples taken from in an altered limestone unit.

The road accessible Santa Isabela property covers a roughly 14,000 hectare area and is located in Coahuila State, Mexico. The property covers an area of structurally controlled jasperoid replacement silicification and calcite veining traceable over 700 meters in outcrop and developed within a package of limestones. Silver-lead-zinc mineralization at the Santa Isabela property is thought to represent the upper levels of a potentially much larger mineralized carbonate replacement (CRD) system at depth (see Almaden new release of March, 2005, likely identified by a geophysical induced polarization ("IP") survey conducted which identified elevated chargeability responses, thought to represent sulphides, at depth. Surface sampling of mineralization has returned grades consistent with CRD style mineralization from the districts within the Mexican CRD Belt. Soil geochemical and induced polarization (IP) geophysical have defined a zone of coincident elevated zinc, lead and silver in soil and high chargeability. Drilling will test this area of Samples were collected under the supervision of Bill Wengzynowsi, P.Eng., president of the consulting firm Archer Cathro and Associates (1981) Ltd., and Morgan Poliquin, M.Sc., P.Eng., a director of Almaden, and the qualified person on the project under the meaning of National Instrument 43-101. Samples were analysed at ALS Chemex Labs of North Vancouver, B.C., using conventional fire assay, and inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP).

Almaden and JOGMEC have also entered into a regional exploration joint venture in Mexico. The regional joint venture program will consist of a first phase of spending over a large region in Mexico focused on grassroots exploration for base metal deposits. JOGMEC will contribute US$700,000 to this program which will be operated by Almaden. JOGMEC can acquire a 60% interest in any mineral property acquired during the course of this exploration program ("designated property") by spending an additional US$500,000 on exploration for each designated property. Any property identified by the regional joint venture program, but not selected as a designated property, shall be 100% owned by Almaden. Work will commence immediately with US$300,000 to be spent by March 31, 2006 and the remainder by March 31, 2007.

Almaden is very excited to be working with JOGMEC on this joint venture program and the Santa Isabela property. The regional joint venture will include areas identified in previous Almaden work as being highly prospective for copper porphyry, Cu-Zn-Pb skarn and Pb-Zn-Ag type carbonate replacement style deposits. Almaden will report the results of future work from the joint venture project as soon as they are received and reviewed by a JOGMEC and Almaden Exploration Committee. Almaden currently has 15 active joint ventures, including 10 in which other companies are carrying all costs in order to earn an interest in the projects. Almaden will continue with its successful business model of identifying exciting new projects through early stage grass roots exploration and managing risk by forming joint ventures in which partner companies explore and develop our projects in return for the right to earn an interest in them.


Morgan J. Poliquin, M.Sc., P.Eng., Director

Statements contained in this news release that are not historical facts are forward looking statements as that term is defined in the private securities litigation reform act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from estimated results. Such risks and uncertainties are detailed in the Company's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Toronto Stock Exchange has not reviewed nor accepted responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the contents of this news release which has been prepared by management.

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