Matrix Gold Project Increased By 110,000 Acres

April 18, 2006


Pacific Ridge Exploration Ltd. is pleased to announce that Newmont Canada Limited, a subsidiary of Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE & ASX:NEM; TSX:NMC), has notified Pacific Ridge that Newmont has acquired prospecting permits totaling 110,000 acres within an area of mutual interest of the Matrix Gold Project located in central Nunavut. As these permits were acquired within the boundaries of the joint venture area, Pacific Ridge has advised Newmont that it elects to accept a proportionate interest in this newly acquired ground.

Newmont has the option to earn an initial 60% interest in mineral properties comprising the Matrix Project by spending a total of C$4.0 million in staged exploration expenditures and making cash payments totaling C$400,000 to Pacific Ridge and Kaminak Gold Corporation prior to December 31, 2007. Upon earning its initial interest, Newmont may elect to form a joint venture, with Newmont owning 60%, and Pacific Ridge and Kaminak, each holding 20%. Newmont may also elect to increase its interest to 70% by spending an additional C$10 million on the project, after which a joint venture would be formed with Newmont holding 70%, and Pacific Ridge and Kaminak each holding 15%.

Pacific Ridge has been advised by Newmont that their 2005 exploration program at the Matrix Gold Project in Nunavut was successful in exploration of gold-bearing conglomerate zones, based on which an expanded 2006 exploration program, to include diamond drilling, is planned.

As previously reported by Pacific Ridge, the gold-bearing conglomerate horizons found within the Matrix Project have geological analogies to the billion-ounce Witwatersrand Basin in South Africa.

"John S. Brock"

John S. Brock

For further information, contact:

Corporate Information
Pacific Ridge Exploration Ltd.
John S. Brock
Tel: (604) 604.641.2759

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

Forward-Looking Information
This release includes certain statements that may be deemed "forward-looking statements". All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts, that address exploration drilling, exploitation activities and events or developments that Pacific Ridge Exploration Ltd. ("Pacific Ridge") expects to occur, are forward-looking statements. Although Pacific Ridge believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward looking statements include market prices, exploitation and exploration successes, and continued availability of capital and financing and general economic, market or business conditions. Investors are cautioned that any such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Pacific Ridge does not assume any obligation to update or revise its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


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