Franconia Minerals Corporation
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Franconia Minerals Corporation

October 31, 2006 10:30 ET

Franconia Minerals Corporation: Drilling Reveals Highest Grade Copper-Nickel-PGM Mineralization to Date at Birch Lake, Minnesota

SPOKANE, WASHINGTON--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 31, 2006) -

THIS PRESS RELEASE IS NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION IN THE UNITED STATES OR TO U.S. NEWS AGENCIES

Franconia Minerals Corporation (TSX VENTURE:FRA)(OFEX:FRA) is pleased to present a second progress report on the on-going 2006 core-drilling program at the Birch Lake copper-nickel-PGM (platinum group metals) inferred resource located in the Duluth Complex of Minnesota.

Drill hole BL06-03 and its wedged-offset BL06-3W2 (see table) extend a zone of high grade copper and nickel values with accompanying PGMs discovered in 2005 by Franconia at Birch Lake (see our press release dated November 3, 2005).



Drill results, Birch Lake, Minnesota
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Down Hole
From To Interval(i) Copper Nickel Platinum Palladium Gold
Drill Hole (m) (m) (m) (%) (%) (g/t) (g/t) (g/t)
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BL06-2W4 717.4 786.1 68.7 0.446 0.136 0.241 0.494 0.113
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incl. 717.4 725.2 7.8 0.540 0.210 0.350 0.702 0.160
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incl. 765.3 784.6 19.3 0.752 0.180 0.416 0.826 0.202
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BL06-3 691.7 727.6 35.9 0.93 0.241 0.608 1.207 0.269
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incl. 691.7 709.6 17.9 1.051 0.307 0.893 1.572 0.363
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incl. 713.0 719.5 6.5 1.037 0.230 0.432 1.090 0.239
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BL06-3W2 691.3 729.8 38.5 0.804 0.204 0.455 1.000 0.239
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incl. 691.6 712.6 21.3 0.853 0.236 0.571 1.256 0.310
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incl. 695.9 699.7 3.8 1.010 0.310 0.671 1.457 0.391
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incl. 702.3 707.3 5.1 1.030 0.247 0.702 1.652 0.362
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incl. 708.2 711.7 3.5 0.971 0.258 0.543 1.319 0.250
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(i) Down hole intervals are approximately 90% of true width.
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Brian Gavin, Franconia's president comments, "These results are the highest grade intercepts we have seen at Birch Lake to date. The best intercept, in BL06-03, is 17.9 meters of 1.05% copper, 0.31% nickel and 2.83 grams per ton (g/t) combined platinum, palladium and gold. This compares very favorably with the average grade of the Birch Lake deposit, which consists of 100.4 million tones at 0.59% copper, 0.19% nickel and 1.11 g/t combined platinum, palladium and gold. Hole BL06-3 is within a couple of hundred meters of holes BL01-2 and BL05-3 (see map). These are the three highest grade holes to date on the property and appear to represent a higher grade core to the resource."

Holes BL06-2W4, BL06-3 its associated wedged-offset totaled 1,007 meters (approximately 10% of the total program has now been competed). Due to the depth of the target zone, a pilot hole is first drilled at each location through the target zone to the basement. Subsequently one or more wedged-offsets are drilled so that several intercepts through the target zone are achieved.

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

Birch Lake and the nearby Maturi deposit are the subjects of a recent independent preliminary economic assessment (see Franconia news release of October 3, 2006) prepared by Scott Wilson Roscoe Postle Associates to NI 43-101 standards (available at www.SEDAR.com). The preliminary economic assessment contemplates that a combined Birch Lake-Maturi operation would have a life-of-mine production of 1,924 million lbs of copper, 494 million lbs of nickel, 75 million lbs of cobalt, 1,768,000 ounces of palladium, 858,00 ounces of platinum and 192,400 ounces of gold. The interim results of this latest drilling program continue to confirm the thickness and lateral continuity of the deposit in the areas tested and contribute to the overall goals of the on-going drill program. The planned program of 23 holes (32,300 meters) has the following goals:

- Collect 700kg of sample for bench scale metallurgical tests to optimize nickel recoveries to concentrate (expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2007).

- Provide material for a 45-tonne bulk sample for pilot-scale metallurgical testing (expected to be completed in 2008) prior to a feasibility study.

- Provide sufficient assay data to enable the conversion of the inferred resource at Birch Lake to measured and indicated resources for use in a feasibility study.

All technical data have been reviewed by Brian Gavin, Franconia's president and an appropriately qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.

Franconia Minerals Corporation trades on both the TSX-V in Canada and OFEX in the UK under the symbol FRA. (For additional information see www.franconiaminerals.com.) The directors of Franconia Minerals Corporation accept responsibility for this announcement. Franconia presently has 36,966,138 shares issued and outstanding.

Brian Gavin, President

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.

To view the Drillhole locations at Birch Lake Project, Minnesota map please click on the following link:

http://www.ccnmatthews.com/docs/fra1031.pdf

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