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Senior Canadian Mining Executive Joins Board Independent Mine Development Study Underway At 217 Gold Project In Northern China


September 29, 2003

Summer Drilling Program Nearing Completion

Beijing, China --- Pacific Minerals Inc. (PMZ:TSXV) is pleased to announce the appointment of Pierre Lebel to its Board of Directors. Mr. Lebel has had a distinguished career in mining spanning more than 25 years, primarily focused on mine financing, construction and development. Mr. Lebel is Chairman of Imperial Metals Corporation, a Canadian mining company that operates the Mount Polley copper-gold mine and the Huckleberry copper-molybdenum mine, in central British Columbia. He holds an MBA from McMaster University and an LLB from the University of Western Ontario.

"Mr. Lebel is an important addition to the Board of Pacific Minerals," said Daniel Kunz, Pacific Minerals' President. "With his experience in mine development and operations, we expect that he will play an active role in helping the company advance its exploration and development programs in China."

Independent Mine Development Study Started at 217 Gold Project

Pacific Minerals also announced that it has engaged the Chinese Design Institute to carry out an independent mine development scoping study for the 217 Gold Project in China's Inner Mongolia region. The scoping study will provide a preliminary, independent assessment of the economic potential of the project and determine a range of capital and operating costs modelled on a 10,000-tonne-per-day open-pit mining operation. The study will be based on the measured and indicated mineral resources in the project's Northeast Zone, which are summarized below.

The Chinese Design Institute is one of China's leading mine engineering and construction companies, recognized for its experience and capabilities in the development and construction of mines. It is currently involved with the development of the largest operating gold mine in China --- the Purple Mountain Mine --- as well as a pre -feasibility study for another foreign mining company with a major gold project in China.

The 10,000-tonne-per-day mining operation currently envisioned for the 217 Project would make it one of the largest gold mines in China. The Purple Mountain Mine, operating at a similar gold grade and throughput to that planned for 217, is a profitable operation using Chinese equ ipment and engineering design. Purple Mountain, which began operations in 1998, produced 233,000 ounces of gold in 2002 mining ore that averaged 0.919 grams per tonne (g/t) gold. The mine reported a profit of approximately US$25 million based on an average gold price of US$309/oz. This level of profitability for a low-grade gold mine demonstrates the capital and operating cost discounts that can be realized in China.

An independent resource estimate for the 217 Project, prepared in March of this year, reported a near-surface gold deposit containing measured and indicated resources of approximately 35 million tonnes grading 0.848 g/t gold, containing 953,000 ounces of gold, at a cut-off grade of 0.6 g/t gold. The independent estimate also reported an inferred resource of 85 million tonnes grading 0.928 g/t gold --- an additional 2,543,130 ounces of gold, at a cut-off grade of 0.6 g/t gold. The independent estimate was prepared according to the standards in National Instrument 43-101 by Westervelt Engineering Ltd., under the direction of Messrs. R. Westervelt, P. Eng., and M. Gao, P. Geo., independent qualified persons. Details of the resource estimate are in the company's March 19, 2003, news release on www.pacific-minerals.com.

SGS Lakefield Research Canada Ltd. is testing the heap leachability of the gold mineralization as part of the scoping study. Additional, bulk heap-leach tests will be conducted in China later this year to increase the level of confidence in gold recoveries. Preliminary metallurgical tests performed earlier this year by SGS Lakefield achieved overall gold extraction exceeding 95% for both the oxide and sulphide mineralization using simple gravity separation and cyanidation. The scoping study will determine the optimal processing meth od between heap leaching and conventional milling and flotation.

Results from Summer Drilling Program Expected in mid -October

Pacific Minerals' summer drilling program at the 217 Project is nearing completion and assay results are expected in mid-October. The current 6,000-metre drilling program will increase the total extent of drilling on the property to approximately 13,900 metres.

The recent drilling has focused primarily on expanding and upgrading resources in the project's Northeast Zone. An "in-pit" resource estimate has been prepared for the Northeast Zone by R.D. Westervelt, P.Eng., of Westervelt Engineering Ltd. The in-pit resource is a portion of the total project resource estimate prepared by Westervelt Engineering in March. Using a 2:1 nominal strip ratio and a cut-off grade of 0.5 g/t gold, the in-pit mineral resource has been estimated at:

Measured and Indicated: 26.6 million tonnes grading 0.96 g/t gold
Inferred: 11.0 million tonnes grading 1.00 g/t gold

The impact of the recent drilling on the project's mineral resources and the potential development of a mining operation will be determined after the drilling program is completed and full assays are received. Measured and indicated resources are that part of a mineral resource for which quantity and grade can be estimated with a level of confidence sufficient to allow the application of technical and economic parameters to support mine planning and evaluation of the economic viability of the deposit. Inferred resources do not have the same degree o f verification.

Mr. Westervelt is the qualified person overseeing the exploration program on the 217 Project and supervised the preparation of the information upon which this release is based.

The 217 Project is in the western part of Inner Mongolia, northern China. The site is approximately 125 kilometres northwest of the city of Baotou (population 1.5 million) and 160 kilometres south of Ivanhoe Mines' major copper and gold project, at Turquoise Hill (Oyu Tolgoi), in southern Mongolia. Baotou is the most important industrial city in Inner Mongolia. As a major steel producing centre, most equipment and skilled labour would be available in this centre for mine development. The 217 Project is close to a new highway that is being constructed to provide a transportation route from the Turquoise Hill Project to Chinese railways.

Pacific Minerals has earned a 55% interest in the 217 project and has the right to acquire a further 41.5%, through scheduled payments of US$2.75 million. Ivanhoe Mines has a two-part option to obtain, and increase, an interest in the project. Under the first option, exercisable by May 31, 2004, Ivanhoe can acquire a 60% interest in the project by completing a production feasibility study by July 1, 2006, and maintaining the schedule of payments to the Chinese partner. Upon completion of the production feasibility study, Ivanhoe will have six months to exercise a second option to acquire an additional 16.5% effective interest in the project by arranging financing on or before July 1, 2007, to take the property into production. On commencement of production, Pacific Minerals' 20% retained carried interest will participate subject to Ivanhoe's right to recover its capital costs and its costs of carrying the Pacific Minerals' interest from initial production revenues.

Pacific Minerals is a Canadian company focused on the exploration and development of precious and base metals (platinum, palladium, gold, nickel, and copper) in the People's Republic of China. Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN) owns approximately 36.3% of the issued and outstanding shares of the company, and 41.4 % on a fully diluted basis.

Investors: Bill Trenaman/ Media: Bob Williamson: +1.604.688.5755
Email: [email protected] Website: www.pacific-minerals.com

The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy or this release.

Forward-Looking Statements: Statements in this release that are forward -looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties concerning the specific factors disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in the corporation's periodic filings with Canadian securities regulators. Such information contained herein represents management's best judgment as of the date hereof based on information currently available. The company does not assume the obligation to update any forward -looking statement.