Franconia Minerals Corporation

Franconia Minerals Corporation

July 25, 2005 10:30 ET

Franconia Files For Approvals For Shaft Sinking And Underground Bulk Sampling Program At The Birch Lake PGM-Cu-Ni Project, Minnesota

SPOKANE, WASHINGTON--(CCNMatthews - July 25, 2005) - FRANCONIA MINERALS CORPORATION (TSX VENTURE:FRA)(OFEX:FRA) is pleased to announce that it has filed the necessary supporting technical data for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to prepare an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) for Franconia to drill a 2300 to 2500 foot deep by 10 to 14 foot diameter shaft at the Birch Lake PGM-Cu-Ni deposit in northeastern Minnesota. The purpose of the shaft is to extract a bulk sample for pilot plant metallurgical testing and to facilitate test mining. Construction of the shaft is contingent upon continued positive results, including a "scoping-level" study, at Birch Lake and is tentatively scheduled for late 2005 to early 2006.

The information submittal filed with the DNR was prepared jointly by Barr Engineering Company of Minneapolis and HPG Professional group, consulting mining engineers of Denver. The submittal contains conceptual level design for access road construction, construction of the shaft and underground workings, bulk sampling and test mining, analysis and mitigation of impacts on water resources, air emissions, sensitive species, wetlands and other potential impacts. In addition to DNR approvals, various permits and approvals will also be required from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the US Corps of Engineers and local authorities. These are also in preparation.

Franconia President Brian Gavin said " I am pleased that Barr and HPG have been very thorough and creative in their proposed plans, which will limit the footprint of the proposed project to less than two acres of wetlands and less than 25 acres in total. If approvals are obtained this fall and financing is in place, we should complete detailed, construction-level design and be able to start construction early this winter."

Based on the results of recent metallurgical testing, Franconia is currently updating its resource estimate at Birch Lake prior to commissioning a NI 43-101 compliant independent Preliminary Economic Assessment. This report will include a "scoping-level" economic evaluation, including a cash flow analysis, of the potential viability of the project prior to any eventual preliminary feasibility study.

Currently 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) using prices of $450/ounce (oz) platinum; $400/oz palladium; $800/oz rhodium; $0.90/lb copper; $3.00/lb nickel; $8.00/lb cobalt; $280/oz gold and $4.50/oz silver, generally well below present prices (see NI 43-101 technical report by Roscoe Postle Associates of Toronto, January 2004, available at

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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