Ashton Mining of Canada Inc.
TSX : ACA

Ashton Mining of Canada Inc.

January 16, 2006 17:00 ET

Ashton Mining of Canada Inc.: Hibou Dyke on Foxtrot Property Diamondiferous

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 16, 2006) - Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. (TSX:ACA) -

Additional mini-bulk sampling planned for 2006

Robert T. Boyd, President and CEO of Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. ("Ashton" or "the Corporation") is pleased to report diamond results from dense media separation ("DMS") processing and caustic dissolution analysis of kimberlitic boulders, trench and drill core samples collected in 2005 from the Hibou kimberlitic dyke and surrounding area.

As reported on August 11, 2005, Ashton and its 50:50 joint venture partner, SOQUEM INC., discovered four new occurrences of kimberlitic boulders on the Foxtrot property in north-central Quebec during the summer 2005 field season. The Hibou dyke system, located approximately 1.3 kilometres west of the Renard cluster and 900 metres east of the Lynx dyke system, was discovered by drilling in the area of the first boulder discovery site. As reported on October 13, 2005, Hibou is interpreted to be approximately two metres thick with a west-northwest strike length of at least 850 metres and an approximate dip of 10 degrees to the north-northeast.

Diamond Results

Boulder Samples

A 4.57 tonne sample of kimberlitic boulders collected from the first discovery site located near the projected surface expression of the Hibou dyke was processed by DMS. This material returned 2.87 carats of commercial-sized diamonds larger than 1.18 mm, giving the sample an estimated diamond content of 63 carats per hundred tonnes ("cpht"). As reported on October 13, 2005, a 250 kg sample of boulders collected at the same site yielded favourable diamond results following caustic dissolution analysis. A 103 kg sample of boulder material collected approximately 200 metres to the south of the first site has now been processed by caustic dissolution. This sample returned 408 diamonds larger than 0.100 millimetres.

Trench Samples

During the summer, in-situ kimberlitic material was collected from a trench excavated near the interpreted eastern strike limit of the dyke, approximately 150 metres east of the first boulder discovery. A 9.93 tonne sample of this material was processed by DMS and returned 0.86 carats of commercial-sized diamonds larger than 1.18 mm for an estimated diamond content of 8.7 cpht. A 105 kg sample of the same material was analyzed by caustic dissolution and yielded 225 diamonds larger than 0.100 millimetres.

Drill Core Samples

A 31.5 kg sample of kimberlitic material collected from three holes drilled into the Hibou dyke was analyzed by caustic dissolution. These holes were collared approximately 60 metres north of the first boulder discovery site. The cumulative 31.5 kg sample of drill core returned 59 diamonds larger than 0.100 millimetres.

A plan map showing the boulder collection sites, the trench sample site and the drill sites is available on Ashton's website at http://www.ashton.ca/projects_quebec_map_hibou_aerial_view.html.

The caustic dissolution and DMS results were generated at Ashton's North Vancouver laboratory and are presented in the following tables.



Caustic Dissolution Diamond Results for Boulders and Material
Collected from the Hibou Dyke and Surrounding Area by Trenching
and Drilling

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Number of Diamonds
Sample Weight According to Sieve Size Fraction (mm)
and of --------------------------------------
Date Sample +0.100 +0.150 +0.212 +0.300
Reported (kg) -0.150 -0.212 -0.300 -0.425
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Boulders
January 16,
2006 103 123 154 78 40
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Boulders
October 13,
2005 250 216 235 160 106
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Boulder
Total 353 339 389 238 146
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Trench
January 16,
2006 105 70 76 37 27
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Cumulative
Drill Core
January 16,
2006 31.5 12 18 15 7
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Number of Diamonds
Sample According to Sieve Size Fraction (mm) Total
and -------------------------------------- Number
Date +0.425 +0.600 +0.850 +1.18 of
Reported -0.600 -0.850 -1.18 -1.70 Diamonds
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Boulders
January 16,
2006 9 2 2 0 408
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Boulders
October 13,
2005 22 11 7 4 761
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Boulder
Total 31 13 9 4 1169
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Trench
January 16,
2006 7 5 2 1 225
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Cumulative
Drill Core
January 16,
2006 5 2 0 0 59
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DMS Diamond Results for Boulders and Material Collected from the
Hibou Dyke and Surrounding Area by Trenching

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Weight of
Diamonds Estimated Largest
Sample Recovered Diamond Diamonds
Weight (carats) Content (carats)
Sample (tonnes) (Note 1) (cpht) (Note 2)
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Boulders 4.57 2.87 63 0.44, 0.28
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Trench 9.93 0.86 8.7 0.12, 0.11
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Note 1 - All diamonds recovered are larger than 1.18 mm using a
square mesh screen.
Note 2 - The 0.44 carat stone is a brown octahedral crystal and
the 0.28 carat diamond is an off-white macle.


Next Steps

These results encourage the joint venture to continue the evaluation of the Hibou dyke and surrounding area even though the DMS results from trench material have yet to confirm expectations based on the more promising caustic dissolution results. Further trenching is therefore under consideration by the joint venture for 2006 to collect mini-bulk samples that would provide the basis for a more accurate determination of the diamond content of the dyke.

2006 Program Update

As reported on November 8, 2005, the joint venture plans to collect a large bulk sample from the Renard cluster in 2006 in order to obtain a minimum 5,000 carat parcel of diamonds for valuation purposes. Concurrently, exploration of the Foxtrot property will continue with the goal of discovering additional kimberlitic bodies. Details of the program will be provided in the next several weeks including descriptions of activities and projected timelines.

Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. and SOQUEM INC.

Ashton's prime objective is the discovery or acquisition of diamond prospects capable of rapid advancement to development and production. The Corporation is recognized as one of the leading explorers in the Canadian diamond industry. Ashton's competitive advantages include the significant exploration experience of its key personnel as well as its extensive in-house laboratory facilities in North Vancouver, dedicated to the Corporation's exploration projects.

SOQUEM INC. is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Societe generale de financement du Quebec ("SGF"). The mission of the SGF, an industrial and financial holding company, is to undertake economic development projects in the industrial sector in cooperation with partners and in compliance with the economic development policies of the Government of Quebec.

Ashton is the operator of the joint venture's exploration programs. Brooke Clements, Professional Geologist and Ashton's Vice President Exploration, is a Qualified Person pursuant to National Instrument 43-101. Mr. Clements is responsible for the design and conduct of the Corporation's exploration programs and for the verification and quality assurance of analytical results.


Contact Information

  • Ashton Mining of Canada Inc.
    Robert T. Boyd
    President and CEO
    (604) 983-7750
    or
    Ashton Mining of Canada Inc.
    Mike Westerlund
    Manager, Investor Relations
    (604) 983-7750
    (604) 987-7107 (FAX)
    contact@ashton.ca
    www.ashton.ca