Franconia Minerals Corporation

Franconia Minerals Corporation

September 07, 2005 10:30 ET

Franconia to Commission 43-101 Report on Second Copper-Nickel-PGM Resource at Birch Lake, Minnesota

SPOKANE, WASHINGTON--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 7, 2005) - Franconia Minerals Corporation (TSX VENTURE:FRA)(OFEX:FRA) is pleased to announce its intention to solicit bids for an independent review of a resource estimate to NI 43-101 standards for the newly acquired Maturi copper-nickel-platinum group metal (PGM) target at Birch Lake, Minnesota. The Maturi target is part of a package of 5,339 acres of mineral rights recently acquired by Franconia from the Beaver Bay Joint Venture who acquired it from American Copper & Nickel Company, Inc. (ACNC). The Maturi target is located about 3 miles north of Franconia's Birch Lake PGM-copper-nickel project.

Historic Inferred Resource Estimate,
Maturi Zone, Birch Lake Project, Minnesota
Cut Off Tonnes Cu Ni Co Au Pd Pt
(% Cu) (millions) (%) (%) (%) (g/t) (g/t) (g/t)
0.70 52.0 0.76 0.28 0.02 0.05 0.28 0.11

In 2000, prior to the requirements of NI 43-101, ACNC's then joint venture partner, Wallbridge Mining Company Limited ("Wallbridge") estimated an inferred resource of 52 million tonnes at a grade of 0.76% copper, 0.28% nickel, 0.02% cobalt, 0.28 g/t palladium, 0.11 g/t platinum and 0.05 g/t gold, using a cut-off grade of 0.70% copper (see below). (The reader should note that the relevance and reliability of the tonnage and grade could be affected when estimated in accordance with NI 43-101 and that the historic estimate should not be relied on). No further exploration or evaluation has been conducted on this property since that time. The mineralized zone is about 75 feet thick and occurs approximately 1,000 feet beneath the surface.

Brian Gavin, president of Franconia, said, "Although still in the exploration phase, Maturi may well complement our 51 million tonne inferred resource at Birch Lake (see below) and raises the possible scenario of two nearby underground copper-nickel-PGM mines feeding one central processing facility - all controlled by Franconia. Conceptually, the capital costs of one plant would be split between two mines giving a big boost to the 'bottom line'. Also, neither Maturi nor Birch Lake has been fully drilled out as yet".

ACNC and Inco Limited did extensive drilling on the acquired lands by between 1950 and 1974. More than 240,000 feet of drilling delineated two major mineralized zones, Maturi and Spruce Road. At Maturi ACNC developed a 1,100 feet deep exploration shaft. In 2000 Wallbridge commissioned a resource estimate by Watt, Griffis and McOuat Limited ("WGM"), consulting geologists and engineers. This estimate was based on 41 surface drill holes and 12 underground drill holes totaling 47,753 feet. In addition to the original ACNC assays Wallbridge re-sampled and re-assayed material from 26,246 ft of core (1,400 samples) for copper, nickel, cobalt, platinum, palladium, gold and sulfur. WGM estimated the resource in accordance with the Australasian Code for Reporting of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (the "JORC" code).

The mineral rights acquired from ACNC are contiguous with the existing 9,460 acre mineral rights held as part of Franconia's Birch Lake Project. The 51 million tonne inferred resource at Birch Lake is estimated to have a grade of 0.675% copper; 0.211% nickel; 0.01% cobalt; 0.216 grams per ton (g/t) gold; 0.972 g/t palladium and 0.46 g/t platinum, at a cut off grade of $25.35 per ton net smelter return (based on hydrometallurgical treatment) (see NI 43-101 technical report by Roscoe Postle Associates of Toronto, January 2004, available at Recent bench scale pressure leaching tests using the Platsol® confirmed the amenability of Birch Lake flotation concentrates to the Platsol® hydrometallurigal process. A re-estimation of the resource at Birch Lake (to NI 43-101 standards) and an independent Preliminary Economic Assessment are currently nearing completion. This report will include a "scoping-level" economic evaluation, including a cash flow analysis, of the potential viability of the Birch Lake resource.

Franconia Minerals Corporation trades on both the TSX-V in Canada and OFEX in the UK under the symbol FRA. (For additional information see The directors of Franconia Minerals Corporation accept responsibility for this announcement. Franconia presently has 22,459,903 shares issued and outstanding.


Brian Gavin


This document, which has been issued by Franconia Minerals Corporation (Franconia), has been approved solely for the purposes of Section 21 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, by Lion Capital Corporation Limited (Lion), 4th Floor, 2 Cromwell Place, London SW7 2JE, who is authorised to carry on Investment Business by the Financial Services Authority. Lion, is acting as advisers for Franconia and to no-one else and will not be responsible to anyone other than Franconia for providing protections afforded to customers of Lion for providing advice in relation to any investment made pursuant to this announcement and makes no recommendation for the suitability of any investment, which is the subject of this announcement. FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENT: Although Franconia Minerals Corporation believes many of its properties have promising potential, its 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. Incorporated in Alberta Canada No. 207953670


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