Ashton Mining of Canada Inc. (ACA-TSX)
Interview with:
Robert T. Boyd, President and CEO
Business News, Financial News, Stocks, Money & Investment Ideas, CEO Interview
and Information on their
discovery of three new diamond districts in Canada.


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Ashton Mining is well positioned to make a significant contribution to Canada's expanding role as a major supplier of diamonds to world markets

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Diamond Exploration

Ashton Mining of Canada Inc.

Unit 116-980 West 1st Street
North Vancouver, B.C. V7P 3N4
Phone: 604-983-7750

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Robert T. Boyd
President and CEO

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
June 16, 2005

Bio of CEO,
Robert T. Boyd

President and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Boyd is a mining executive with more than 28 years experience in exploration, executive-level management and corporate finance. He was previously with a financial advisory firm where he was a founding principal and majority shareholder. Prior to that, Mr. Boyd was Vice President Exploration for Homestake Canada Limited, where he was responsible for Homestake's Canadian exploration, financial and administrative groups. Mr. Boyd presently serves as a Director of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada, the BC & Yukon Chamber of Mines, and the Pacific Mineral Museum. He is a registered Professional Geoscientist in British Columbia.

Company Profile:
Ashton Mining of Canada Inc.
("Ashton") is a leading diamond exploration company. Since 1993, Ashton has been instrumental in the discovery of three new diamond districts in Canada.

Ashton is dedicated to discovering or acquiring diamond prospects capable of rapid advancement to development and production.

CEOCFO: Mr. Boyd, will you tell us about your background with Ashton and your vision for the company?
Mr. Boyd: “I joined Ashton five years ago as President and CEO. I am an exploration geologist by training; I moved up through management early in my career to oversee the Canadian gold exploration activities for Homestake Mining Company as their Vice President, Exploration for Canada. Following that I was in the investment banking for about six or seven years before I joined Ashton. My expertise is in the business of exploration and related corporate finance. My vision for Ashton is to continue to advance the company towards our prime objective of discovering, developing or acquiring a diamond deposit capable of rapid advancement toward production. Ashton’s ongoing exploration programs over the past 12 years have been dedicated to that ultimate objective.”

CEOCFO: What are your geographical areas of focus?
Mr. Boyd: “The Company is primarily focused in Canada but we have done some diamond exploration in the United States. Our three key areas in Canada are in Nunavut, Alberta and Quebec, with the majority of our more recent activity in Quebec. In Nunavut, Ashton has helped identify a new diamond province called the Coronation Gulf in the west Kitikmeot region. In Alberta we, together with our joint venture partners, control the only significant diamondiferous kimberlite cluster in that province. In Quebec, we and our joint venture partner have discovered a cluster of ten kimberlitic bodies that have promising economic potential based on initial sample results.”

CEOCFO: Will you tell us about your project in the Quebec area?
Mr. Boyd: “We have had significant success in Quebec. In our 120 acre “Core Area”, we have identified a concentration of six kimberlitic bodies, five of which have yielded large diamonds from relatively small samples. In 2004 we completed a 600 tonne bulk sample from four of these bodies. That sample yielded a parcel of about 470 carats of diamonds, which were the subject of a valuation exercise last month. We reported a valuation of $88.00 U.S. per carat for the diamonds from those four bodies, which is well in excess of world average price for rough diamonds produced from existing mines.”

CEOCFO: What further steps are needed in this area?
Mr. Boyd: “That valuation exercise is a preliminary indication of the value of the diamonds based on a relatively small parcel. In fact, it is a modeled number, or in other words, the anticipated value of the diamonds from a potential mining scenario. In order to increase our understanding of the Quebec project and our confidence in the diamond values, the next logical step is to conduct a larger bulk sample program. This will give us a more accurate determination of the grade of each of the bodies we have discovered and a more accurate diamond valuation. This larger bulk sample involves a significant expense. In order to justify it, our first step this year is to analyze a number of preliminary mining scenarios to understand their associated capital and operating costs, and use this information as the basis for determining our plans to proceed. That analysis will be conducted in conjunction with additional exploration to expand tonnage in the Core Area and discover new kimberlitic bodies on the property. We will be working quite closely with our Quebec joint venture partner to finalize our plans. Our partner is SOQUEM INC. a parastatal Quebec corporation.”

CEOCFO: Is it usual for the government to be a partner?
Mr. Boyd: “It’s not very common any longer in Canada, but SOQUEM has been a very good partner for us. They have participated in the high-risk stages of exploration in Quebec from day one. We are pleased to have them working with us.”

CEOCFO: Quebec is very favorable to mining, is it not?
Mr. Boyd: “Yes it is. We are pleased to be working there and we know that if the economics justify it, subject to the proper baseline studies and environmental safeguards, there should be no barriers to advancing our project forward. It is also important that we make sure that we continue to involve the local community as our project moves forwards, to ensure that we continue to maintain the positive relationship we have developed to date.”

CEOCFO: Will you tell us about your funding for all of your projects?
Mr. Boyd: “We are currently in diamond exploration, not mining, and as such we do not have any earnings. Because we are publicly listed, we access funding through the equity markets. The incentive for investors is a significant potential capital gain once the discovery of an economic diamond deposit can be demonstrated. Our largest shareholder is the Rio Tinto Group, one of the world’s largest mining companies and the third largest diamond producing company in the world. They have been supportive of our funding activities and have invested $18 million into our treasury over the last several years.”

CEOCFO: How does the expertise among your team add to Ashton?
Mr. Boyd: “Diamond exploration is a risky business. As of twelve years ago there was not any significant diamond exploration conducted in Canada. We had to start with a grass roots diamond exploration approach, which led to our discovery of three new diamond districts in Canada.

There is also lot of science involved in diamond exploration. There is a science in identifying and separating indicator minerals from exploration samples and using this information to locate diamondiferous kimberlites. Kimberlites are rock types that have the potential to host large diamond deposits. There is also significant expertise to successfully extract material from large samples to test for diamonds. Once we make a kimberlite discovery, we test it for diamonds through various laboratory processes. Through caustic dissolution, we can dissolve the entire kimberlite rock sample and recover diamonds down to 0.1 millimeter in size. This enables us to determine if a body is diamond-bearing. If this initial test justifies, we can collect a much larger sample and then process material through our dense media separation (or DMS) plant where we recover commercial size diamonds.

Ashton has a dedicated and skilled exploration and laboratory team that is one of the finest in the country. Ashton has an exploration advantage with our own fully dedicated in-house exploration laboratory, where highly trained personnel do all the science, exploration, extraction and observing work.”

CEOCFO: Are all of your projects joint ventured?
Mr. Boyd: “That is the approach we undertook when the company first started. It enabled us to share the cost of high-risk, early stage of diamond exploration. We continue to utilize this approach today. Presently, we have both wholly-owned and joint venture activities in Nunavut, and our key projects in Alberta and Quebec are joint ventures. “

CEOCFO: Are you constantly looking for new projects?
Mr. Boyd: “I think the nature of exploration is to continue to search for and identify new opportunities. We conduct grassroots exploration programs throughout Canada to look for new diamond districts, but we do not spend much time talking about these activities publicly because of the competitive nature of diamond exploration.”

CEOCFO: What activities do you see in the near future for the company?
Mr. Boyd: “Our next big step will be in our Quebec project, when we make the decision on whether a larger bulk sample is justified by the results of a mining scenario analysis. We expect to make this decision later this year or early next year. We are also continuing with our programs in Alberta and we expect to be drilling some kimberlite targets this year. We discovered another kimberlite in Nunavut this past spring and we will continue to discover new kimberlites in our exploration target areas. In fact, we have discovered 71 kimberlites in our eleven-year history of activity in Canada, of which more than 70 percent are diamond-bearing. Ashton is dedicated to finding a diamond mine and being a company that continues to deliver shareholder value.”

CEOCFO: Why should potential investors be interested and what should they know that perhaps they do not realize when they first look at the company?
Mr. Boyd: “Ashton has perhaps the most experienced diamond exploration team in Canada, especially among public companies, with a combined excess of 150 years of diamond exploration and mining industry expertise. That is backed up by an excellent track record of success as evidenced by our project in Quebec, which is one of the few projects in Canada that is yielding diamonds larger than 5 carats in size. We have the track record, the people and the projects to demonstrate our capabilities and the ability to deliver long term shareholder value.”

CEOCFO: Final thoughts for our readers?
Mr. Boyd: “I think it is important to see that the project that we have in Quebec is outstanding and has the potential to develop into a mine. Canada is now a major diamond producer and is ranked the third largest diamond producing country in the world by revenue. There are two new mines under construction, one in Nunavut, and one in the Northwest Territories. Canada represents the future of the diamond industry and we at Ashton represent the next phase of growth in that future.”


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“Ashton has perhaps the most experienced diamond exploration team in Canada, especially among public companies, with a combined excess of 150 years of diamond exploration and mining industry expertise. That is backed up by an excellent track record of success as evidenced by our project in Quebec, which is one of the few projects in Canada that is yielding diamonds larger than 5 carats in size. We have the track record, the people and the projects to demonstrate our capabilities and the ability to deliver long term shareholder value.” - Robert T. Boyd


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