Franconia Minerals Corporation
TSX : FRA

Franconia Minerals Corporation

December 12, 2007 09:00 ET

Franconia Minerals Announces Latest Drill Results From Birch Lake Copper-Nickel-PGM Project

Continues to Expand Copper-Nickel-PGM Mineralization in "World Class" Duluth Complex

SPOKANE, WASHINGTON--(Marketwire - Dec. 12, 2007) - Franconia Minerals Corporation (TSX:FRA) announced today significant assay results from its latest core-drilling program aimed at upgrading and expanding its resources at the Birch Lake copper-nickel-PGM (platinum group metals) project located in the Duluth Complex of Minnesota. Amongst the best results returned in this latest set of assays are BL07-6W4 with 103 feet grading 0.69% copper (Cu), 0.17% nickel (Ni) and 1.49 grams per tonne (g/t) Total Precious Metals (TPM equals Palladium (Pd) + Platinum (Pt) + Gold (Au)), including 47 feet at 0.83% Cu, 0.83% Ni and 1.97 g/t TPM and BL07-9W4 with 29 feet grading 0.65% Cu, 0.23% Ni and 2.65 g/t TPM. Approximately 83% of the planned 18-hole, 63,000-foot program at Franconia's Birch Lake deposit has now been completed (see Franconia release of October 4, 2007) and results have been received for 60% of the program.

The test results from drill holes BL07-6, to -12 and their wedged-offset drill holes have further defined the thickness and grade of copper-nickel-PGM mineralization in the northern portion and on the western flank of the deposit. (Please see the table and map below.) These holes, the latest in Franconia's infill drilling program, have continued to reveal mineralization that is generally similar to or higher than the average 0.59% Cu, 0.19% Ni and 1.11 g/t TPM (0.65g/t Pd, 0.32g/t Pt, and 0.14 g/t Au) values previously found in the Birch Lake project.

Franconia is rapidly advancing its development work on what is the largest land position held by any publically traded company in the Duluth Complex, where three independent NI 43-101 studies have estimated Franconia's inferred resources total 307 million tonnes. The Complex is believed to contain the third largest unexploited copper-nickel-platinum group metals resources in the world, after Sudbury and Nor'ilsk.

The Birch Lake deposit contains an inferred resource of 100.4 million tonnes grading 0.59% Cu and 0.19% Ni. This latest drill program is aimed at converting the current inferred resource to an indicated resource and providing samples for bench-scale and pilot plant-scale metallurgical testing, planned for 2008. This inferred resource at Birch Lake is in addition to Franconia`s nearby 83 million tonne copper-nickel-PGM inferred resource grading 0.70% Cu and 0.26% Ni. at Maturi and its nearby underground Inferred Resource at Spruce Road of 124.4 million tonnes grading 0.59% Cu and 0.21% Ni, bringing the total underground resource at Franconia's Birch Lake Project to 307.9 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.62% Cu and 0.22% Ni. Birch Lake, Maturi and Spruce Road are the subjects of independent reports prepared by Scott Wilson Roscoe Postle Associates (Scott Wilson RPA) to NI 43-101 standards (available at www.SEDAR.com and www.franconiaminerals.com).

"We are planning to have a second drill turning at Birch Lake shortly and anticipate completion of drilling in January," said Brian Gavin President and CEO. "After that, we plan to move both drill rigs to the Maturi property where we have recently received approval from the US Forest Service for our drilling program."



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December 2007 Drill Results, Birch Lake, Minnesota Down
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Hole
Interval Plat-
From To (i) Copper Nickel inum Platinum Gold
Drill Hole (ft) (ft) (ft) (%) (%) (g/t) (g/t) (g/t)
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BL07-6W4 2140.6 2243.9 103.3 0.69 0.17 0.38 0.91 0.20
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incl. 2165.1 2212.4 47.3 0.83 0.23 0.50 1.20 0.27
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BL07-8 2232.8 2336.3 103.5 0.46 0.13 0.19 0.44 0.10
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BL07-8W1 2131.1 2157 25.9 0.52 0.23 0.34 0.70 0.21
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and 2332.6 2346.2 13.6 0.82 0.85 0.11 0.41 0.05
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BL07-8W2 2129.7 2150.4 20.7 0.50 0.19 0.28 0.61 0.11
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and 2231.7 2385.4 153.7 0.44 0.14 0.17 0.41 0.10
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BL07-8W3 2127 2408.9 281.9 0.43 0.15 0.16 0.38 0.08
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incl. 2235.7 2293.6 57.9 0.61 0.17 0.22 0.56 0.13
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BL07-8W4 2129.1 2150.6 21.5 0.64 0.19 0.32 0.80 0.11
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and 2231.6 2387.3 155.7 0.47 0.14 0.16 0.42 0.09
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BL07-9 2498.7 2523.9 25.2 0.44 0.19 0.58 1.18 0.21
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BL07-9W1 2499.9 2523 23.1 0.51 0.22 0.75 1.42 0.21
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BL07-9W2 2499.2 2520.2 21 0.49 0.21 1.07 1.91 0.27
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BL07-9W4 2500.3 2529.6 29.3 0.65 0.23 0.76 1.56 0.33
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BL07-10 1674.5 1728.5 54 0.44 0.16 0.10 0.26 0.07
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and 1787.1 1819.5 32.4 0.47 0.16 0.10 0.20 0.05
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and 2108.7 2200.8 92.1 0.56 0.17 0.16 0.36 0.09
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BL07-10W1 1674.4 1715.9 41.5 0.65 0.20 0.16 0.35 0.11
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and 2072.0 2219.7 147.7 0.62 0.17 0.15 0.33 0.08
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incl. 2083.5 2101.9 18.4 1.02 0.20 0.20 0.46 0.14
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incl. 2181.1 2212.5 31.4 0.83 0.22 0.25 0.49 0.09
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BL07-11 2183.9 2415.8 231.9 0.73 0.21 0.29 0.60 0.15
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incl. 2183.9 2237.3 53.4 0.91 0.27 0.48 0.94 0.18
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incl. 2280.9 2301.4 20.5 0.88 0.22 0.31 0.65 0.19
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BL07-11W1 2183.5 2417.3 233.8 0.59 0.17 0.22 0.50 0.13
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incl. 2212.9 2254.1 41.2 0.83 0.22 0.28 0.60 0.12
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incl. 2273.9 2306.4 32.5 0.75 0.20 0.26 0.60 0.24
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BL07-11W2 2178.2 2429.6 251.4 0.67 0.19 0.24 0.58 0.13
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incl. 2190.5 2237.8 47.3 1.00 0.29 0.43 1.01 0.21
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BL07-12W1 1953.8 2073.0 119.2 0.63 0.19 0.25 0.45 0.09
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incl. 1987.8 2012.0 24.2 1.03 0.26 0.66 0.77 0.15
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True thickness is approximately 90% of the down hole interval
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An indicated mineral resource is a portion of a mineral resource for which quantity, grade, and other characteristics can be estimated with a level of confidence sufficient to support mine planning and additional economic evaluation of the project. The Birch Lake deposit is currently classified as an inferred resource, which is that part of a mineral resource for which certain characteristics can be estimated based on geological evidence and limited sampling and which can be reasonably assumed to have a consistent grade of mineralization.

Core samples were prepared at the ALS Chemex Ltd. Laboratories in Thunder Bay and then shipped to its analytical facilities in Vancouver. Samples were analyzed for gold, platinum and palladium using a standard fire assay with an ICP finish, as well as for 34 base metals and trace elements using a four-acid (near-total) digestion and a combination of ICPMS and ICPAES. ICP over-limits were reanalyzed using sodium peroxide fusion and acid dissolution followed by ICPAES.

The preliminary economic assessment prepared by Scott Wilson RPA - which does not include the Spruce Road resource - contemplates that a combined Birch Lake-Maturi operation would have, over a 26-year mine life, an average annual production of 74 million pounds (lbs) of copper, 19 million lbs of nickel, 2.9 million lbs of cobalt, 68,000 ounces (oz) of palladium, 33,000 oz of platinum and 7,400 oz of gold. All technical data have been reviewed by Brian Gavin, Franconia's president and CEO, Mr. Gavin is an appropriately qualified person as defined by NI 43-101.

The Duluth Complex, a geologic formation located in northeastern Minnesota, extends for 240 kilometers trending from northeast to southwest and hosts a number of copper-nickel-PGM deposits. Collectively these deposits are believed to be one of the largest unexploited resources of these scarce minerals in the world.

Franconia Minerals Corporation trades on the TSX under the symbol FRA. (For additional information see www.franconiaminerals.com.) Franconia currently has 58,024,744 shares issued and outstanding.

Brian Gavin, President and CEO

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENT: Although Franconia Minerals Corporation believes many of its properties have promising potential. These 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.

To view Figure 1, please visit the following link: http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/birch_lake.pdf.

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