MacDonald Mines Enters Option/Joint Venture Agreement with Virginia Mines on Gold Property in Northern Quebec



    TORONTO, May 11 /CNW/ - MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd. (TSX
Venture:BMK) ("MacDonald" or the "Company") announces the signing of an
option/Joint Venture agreement with Virginia Mines Inc. (TSX:VGQ) ("Virginia")
on the Assinica Property located in the Frotet-Evans (James Bay) region of
Quebec, about 100 km northwest of Chibougamau.
    As per the agreement and subject to Exchange approval, MacDonald Mines
has the option to acquire a 50% interest in the Assinica property, in
consideration of CA$2.5 million in exploration work to be carried out during
the next four (4) years, and cash payments totalling $130,000. MacDonald and
Virginia will manage the project by committee with Virginia being the
operator.

    Property Located in an Extensive Volcano-Sedimentary Belt

    The property covers a land position of 79 claims covering almost 41 km(2)
and is hosted by an extensive volcano-sedimentary belt that also hosts Inmet
Mining's Troilus gold-copper mine which has been in production since 1997. It
overlaps a major lithological contact between the volcanic rocks of the
Assinica Group and the sediments of the Broadback Group.

    Property Covers Many Gold and Arsenic Anomalies

    Virginia initially staked the property based on lake sediment and till
sampling carried out by the Quebec Government. The area displays anomalies in
gold, arsenic and tungsten. Virginia subsequently completed additional till
sampling that was subjected to a heavy media separation which was scanned for
gold grains. In one area as many as 67 gold grains were detected in one sample
with 50 of these being pristine, indicating that they had undergone very
limited distances of glacial transportation. Several IP anomalies remain
unexplained within this favourable auriferous context.
    Kirk McKinnon, President and Chief Executive Officer of MacDonald states,
"Because of MacDonald management's strong working relationship with Virginia
Mines, we were presented with this opportunity. After carefully assessing the
project and with the strong recommendation from our Senior Consultant, Bill
Nielsen P.Geo., we decided to move forward. This opportunity, while extremely
compelling, will not require significant expenditures to advance exploration."
    An exploration program is planned for the summer of 2009 to test these
anomalies. Work will include additional geochemical sampling, geophysics,
prospecting and mechanical stripping. It is anticipated that a drill program
will be initiated before the end of the year in order to test targets
generated by the exploration work completed to date.
    MacDonald will have the option of providing supplementary personnel to
Virginia's exploration team. Virginia's exploration group has extensive gold
exploration experience and was responsible for the discovery of the Eléonore
gold deposit located to the north of the Assinica Property.

    Administration

    MacDonald Mines has reached an agreement to issue common shares in lieu
of cash consideration to two consultants aggregating $53,950 priced at $0.25
per share for a total of 215,800 common shares. The completion of the shares
for debt settlement is subject to the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange.
Shares issued will be subject to a 4 month plus one day hold period.

    About Virginia

    Virginia is among the most active mining exploration companies in Quebec
with a working capital of $38.6 million as at November 30, 2008, and
29,201,776 shares issued and outstanding as at April 30, 2009. Virginia trades
on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the ticker symbol VGQ. Virginia
concentrates its activities on its numerous properties that are spread over
the vast, underexplored regions of northern Quebec.

    About MacDonald Mines

    MacDonald Mines is a mineral exploration company with an established
history in the exploration of gold and base metals. MacDonald has set upon a
strategic direction of exploration in the Canadian Northlands, with particular
focus in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Quebec.
    In 2008, MacDonald Mines was ranked second in the TSX Venture 50's Annual
Ranking of Top Canadian Mining Companies and trades under the symbol BMK.

    WARNING: The statements made in this news release may contain
forward-looking statements that may involve a number of risks and
uncertainties. Actual events or results could differ materially from
expectations and projections set out herein. The TSX Venture Exchange does not
accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.

    %SEDAR: 00004560E




For further information:

For further information: Email: info@macdonaldmines.com, Website:
www.macdonaldmines.com, (800) 818-5442, (416) 364-4986, (416) 364-2753 (FAX);
Brent Nykoliation, Vice President, Business Development; J. A. Kirk McKinnon,
President & CEO; Richard Schler, Chief Operating Officer & CFO

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MACDONALD MINES EXPLORATION LTD.

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