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News Releases

Jan 08, 2004

Drilling To Commence At Franco Property, Mexico

Mr. Ian Rozier, President of Newport Exploration Ltd. (the "Company") reports that drilling is set to start on January 15th, 2004 on the Franco Project ("Franco") in San Luis Potosi Mexico. The Company is earning a 50% interest in Franco from Cardero Resources Corp. ("Cardero"). Details of the agreement with Cardero were announced on November 5th, 2003.

The Franco Gold Project covers an area of 983 Ha and is located in the State of San Luis Potosi, approximately 70 km southwest of the City of San Luis Potosi. The property contains a zone of quartz-veining and stockwork which is at least 500m wide and 1100m long, and open along strike, and contains strongly anomalous antimony values, weakly to strongly anomalous arsenic and mercury values, and anomalous gold and silver values up to 2.6 g/t and 42 g/t respectively. The character of mineralization, the metals present, and the type of alteration that exist at Franco is consistent with the uppermost levels of a precious metal bearing, epithermal system. The setting at Franco is similar to the Round Mountain deposit in Nevada (13 million contained ounces of gold) and the Delmar deposit in Idaho, where gold-silver mineralization is also associated with felsic volcanic rocks and caldera development. Consequently, the Company believes there is an excellent potential for the discovery of a bulk tonnage, precious metal deposit at Franco.

Franco is a drill-ready prospect and the 2004 Phase 1 drill program has been designed to test the grade of mineralization at depth with a least nine diamond drillholes with over 2000m of drilling; provision has been made for an additional 4 holes (over 1000m) to be drilled as part of this drill program. Following the Company's successful $1,900,000 capital raising (see news release dated December 17th, 2003). Newport is well funded to complete this program, as well as a Phase II drill program anticipated later in 2004.

The Company currently has 13.5 million shares issued and outstanding and 22.5 shares fully diluted (having been consolidated on a 10:1 basis in 2002), and over $2 million in the Treasury.
For further information contact:
Barbara Dunfield

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