Fortress Minerals Corp.

Fortress Minerals Corp.

March 18, 2005 10:18 ET

Stephen Swatton, President of Fortress Minerals Corp. is Pleased to Announce: Agreement to Acquire Russian Gold Project From Phelps Dodge Exploration Corporation


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: FORTRESS MINERALS CORP.

TSX VENTURE SYMBOL: FST

MARCH 18, 2005 - 10:18 ET

Stephen Swatton, President of Fortress Minerals Corp.
is Pleased to Announce: Agreement to Acquire Russian
Gold Project From Phelps Dodge Exploration Corporation

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - March 18, 2005) - Fortress
Minerals Corp. (TSX VENTURE:FST) -

Strategic Alliance With Phelps Dodge Exploration Corporation in Mongolia

Fortress Minerals Corp. ("Fortress") has agreed to terms with Phelps
Dodge Exploration Corporation ("PDEC") to acquire an option to earn an
80% interest in PDEC subsidiary PD Russia, Inc. ("PDRI"). PDRI holds a
100% indirect interest in an exploration license over the Svetloye gold
project in the Khabarovsk Region of eastern Russia. The Svetloye project
has high grade gold mineralization outcropping at surface and an
aggressive drill program is scheduled for 2005 by Fortress.

In addition, Fortress also announces that it has reached an agreement
with PDEC on a separate Mongolian alliance in which PDEC can earn up to
a 70% interest in Fortress's copper, gold, silver and molybdenum
projects in Mongolia, subject to certain investments by PDEC in
Fortress, and the funding of certain exploration and development
programs on the properties.

The Svetloye business initiative is subject to the entering into of
definitive agreements and both are subject to regulatory body approvals
(the Mongolia definitive agreements have been completed).

Steve Swatton commented: "The Svetloye gold opportunity and the Phelps
Dodge alliance in Mongolia will give Fortress an exciting platform to
grow and take advantage of the buoyant metals market and demand for good
exploration opportunities. The Company's aggressive exploration approach
with programs at different stages of development has positioned the
Company well for success in 2005."

Svetloye, Russia

The Svetloye gold project is located approximately 750km west of
Magadan, close to the port of Okhotsk and is accessed by winter road or
by helicopter.

A Russian wholly owned PDRI subsidiary has been active at Svetloye for 2
field seasons (2003 and 2004) and has identified a 7 km2 zone of
epithermal gold mineralization. Twenty eight diamond drill holes
(3,687m) and approximately 550m of trenching have identified an oxidised
gold zone outcropping at surface over seven zones: Elena, Larissa,
Tamara, Gorki, Ludmilla, Bill and Amy. Elena, the most intensely drilled
and best understood zone, will be evaluated as a potential open pit
operation and all work by Fortress will be undertaken to establish the
resource to National Instrument Policy 43-101 requirements. Results to
date are sourced from PDRI data but have not been verified by a
Qualified Person and are therefore not conformable to the standards of
National Instrument 43-101.

Highlights of the trenching and drilling at Svetloye are as follows:



From To Interval Grade
(m) (m) (m) (grams per tonne gold)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Trench Elena 0 250 250m 5.25
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Trench Elena 0 31.8 31.8m 10.87
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
DDH-1 Elena 2.0 38.2 36.2 1.63
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
DDH-2 Larissa 89.1 94.0 4.9 3.3
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
DDH-4 Larissa 8.0 12.0 4.0 1.15
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
DDH-5 Elena 10.3 48.5 38.2 9.02
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
DDH-6 Elena 0 64.8 64.8 1.97
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
DDH-8 Elena 48 113.9 65.9 1.36
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
DDH-10 Elena 5.5 39.9 34.4 0.78
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
DDH-13 Elena 13 24.5 11.5 5.66
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
DDH-14 Elena 0 39.0 39.0 2.81
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
DDH-19 Tamara 0 30.3 30.3 0.67
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
DDH-20 Tamara 1.5 15.8 14.3 2.37
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
DDH-026 Amy 0 46.1 46.1 2.38
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
DDH-027 Amy 15.8 27 11.2 0.71
-----------------------------------------------------------------------


Based upon these preliminary results there appear to be two potential
geological gold target types at Svetloye; a large, low-grade
disseminated resource and narrower high grade structurally related
resource. There are extensive zones of vuggy silica, alunite and late
stage veining. This style of mineralization is common to Pierina and
other 'high sulphidation' epithermal deposits. The rocks are oxidised to
a depth of approximately 80m -150m based on the drilling to date.

Fortress geologists and logistics personnel are currently undertaking a
site review of Svetloye. Fortress is planning to drill in 2005, and
discussions are currently on-going to determine the size of the program.
Elena is one of seven targets which will be worked up in 2005, but in
addition to the known surface targets, Fortress will conduct a regional
exploration program over other parts of this relatively under explored
project area.

Under the terms of the PDEC-Fortress agreement, Fortress can earn up to
an 80% interest in PDRI by making certain underlying work commitments by
December, 2007, and by making payments to PDEC upon resource definition
and further cash payments at production depending upon the size of the
ore body.

Fortress has agreed to pay PDEC US$ 500,000 upon signing a formal
agreement to earn 51% in PDRI, and the remaining 29% interest will be
granted by PDRI upon the earlier to occur of (a) completion of drilling
and trenching earn-in requirements and (b) conversion of the exploration
license to a mining license.

In addition to the initial purchase of 51% of PDRI shares for US$
500,000, these terms agreed with PDEC are:

- Payment to PDEC of US$2.5 million in cash and /or Fortress stock, upon
completion of a prefeasibility study, provided that the cash portion
will not be less than US$ 1.5 million.

- Payment to PDEC of US$1.00 per proven and probable ounce defined at
positive feasibility.

- Payment to PDEC of a further $1.50 per ounce produced.

- If the proven and probable reserves are 5 million ounces or greater, a
further payment to PDEC of $2.50 per ounce produced.

Mongolia

Fortress and PDEC have agreed to terms for an alliance which will permit
PDEC to earn-in to Fortress's copper, gold, silver and or molybdenum
properties in Mongolia. Under the terms of the agreement PDEC will
invest US$3.0 million by way of private placement over two (2) years
into Fortress (US$1.7 million in Year 1 and US$1.3 million in Year 2) at
Cdn$0.80 per share in Year 1 and at market price plus 50% in Year 2,
subject to TSX Venture Exchange approval. The proceeds from the PDEC
investment will be used to advance Fortress's Mongolian properties.

PDEC has the right to earn 70% of any identified project areas selected
by PDEC, after 2,000m of drilling completed by Fortress, by funding
continued exploration and development on any identified project area
through to the end of feasibility.

Fortress has been active in Mongolia for over 10 years through
International Uranium Corp. who were the previous owners of many of the
licenses. Fortress currently owns exploration rights to over
approximately 4.6 million hectares of prospective ground and the Company
is currently scheduled to complete a minimum of 2 drill programs in
2005: Teltiin Gol, a porphyry gold-copper project and Oyuut Uul, an
epithermal gold target. Drilling at Teltiin Gol is currently underway
(News Release 16 March 2005). In addition to the drilling program
Fortress is exploring in the Huvsgul area of northern Mongolia where
last year the Company identified a district which has the potential for
mesothermal and shale hosted gold deposits. The Company is active in
many different geological and geographical areas of Mongolia and has at
least 3 other projects that it is considering bringing forward to the
drill stage.

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD

FORTRESS MINERALS CORP.

Stephen Swatton, President and C.E.O.

"This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on
assumptions and judgments of management regarding future events or
results. Such statements are subject to a variety of risks and
uncertainties which could cause actual events or results to differ
materially from those reflected in the forward-looking statements. The
Company disclaims any intention or obligation to revise or update such
statements."

-30-

Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    Fortress Minerals Corp.
    Stephen Swatton
    President and C.E.O.
    (604) 681-5700
    sswatton@fortressminerals.com
    The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy
    or accuracy of this release.