Ashton Mining of Canada Inc.

Ashton Mining of Canada Inc.

July 18, 2005 09:00 ET

Ashton Mining of Canada Inc.: Summer Drilling Program on Kikerk Lake Property, Nunavut

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - July 18, 2005) - Robert T. Boyd, President and CEO of Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. ("Ashton" or the "Corporation") (TSX:ACA) is pleased to announce that Ashton and its joint venture partners have approved a $500,000 summer exploration program for the 16,000 hectare Kikerk Lake property in the Coronation Gulf region of Nunavut. The program includes ground geophysical surveying, indicator mineral sampling and further drilling to investigate the diamondiferous Stellaria kimberlite that the joint venture discovered in 2002.

Stellaria is interpreted to be a steeply dipping hypabyssal dyke with an estimated true width of 13 metres. The kimberlite lies along a geophysically-defined linear feature with an estimated length of two kilometres. As reported on November 8, 2002, caustic dissolution analysis of 110 kg of kimberlite from Stellaria returned 67 diamonds, including one diamond measuring 2.3 x 1.4 x 0.9 mm. Work on the property in 2004 included indicator mineral sampling in the area surrounding Stellaria to prioritize potential drill targets.

In light of the encouraging initial diamond results, the joint venture will carry out additional work on Stellaria during the summer field season. The program will include the drilling of as many as six core holes in an effort to better define the potential length and width of the dyke and investigate the associated linear feature.

The Kikerk Lake property is located approximately 20 kilometres northeast of the Knife Lake kimberlite currently undergoing evaluation by De Beers Canada Exploration Inc. The property also hosts the Potentilla kimberlite, located 700 metres east of Stellaria. As reported on September 16, 2002, a 5.83 tonne sample of drill core collected from Potentilla returned an estimated diamond content of 17.5 carats per hundred tonnes. The diamonds recovered from this sample include a 0.34 carat colourless stone.

Exploration on the Kikerk Lake property is governed by an agreement among Ashton, Stornoway Diamond Corporation ("Stornoway") and Caledonia Mining Corporation ("Caledonia"). The current respective interests of the parties are Ashton 52.5 percent, Stornoway 30.0 percent and Caledonia 17.5 percent. Ashton has an option to increase its interest to 59.5 percent by carrying Caledonia to completion of a feasibility study. Stornoway is participating in the current program.

In total, 21 kimberlites, including eleven that contain diamonds, have been discovered in the Coronation Gulf region. In addition to the Stellaria and Potentilla kimberlites, eight of the 21 kimberlites are located on Ashton's 100 percent-owned properties. In light of the overall prospectivity of the Coronation Gulf region, Ashton has approved a total budget of $1.4 million for exploration in the region in 2005, including its contribution to the summer program for the Kikerk Lake property.

About Ashton Mining of Canada Inc.

A leader in the Canadian diamond exploration sector, Ashton has discovered 71 kimberlites since its initial public offering in 1993. Ashton's discovery-stage work in Nunavut and Alberta complements the Corporation's advanced exploration program on the Foxtrot property in Quebec where a valuation was completed on a 459 carat parcel of diamonds earlier this year. Ashton's competitive advantages include its extensive in-house laboratory facilities in North Vancouver, dedicated exclusively to the Corporation's exploration programs.

Ashton is the operator of all of the Corporation's exploration programs and Brooke Clements, Professional Geologist and Ashton's Vice President, Exploration, is responsible for their design and conduct, and the verification and quality assurance of analytical results.

Contact Information

  • Ashton Mining of Canada Inc.
    Brooke Clements
    Vice President, Exploration
    (604) 983-7750
    Ashton Mining of Canada Inc.
    Mike Westerlund
    Manager, Investor Relations
    (604) 983-7750