Press Release Source: Cumberland Resources Ltd. Cumberland Provides Meadowbank Project Update Wednesday March 17, 8:00 am ET VANCOUVER, British Columbia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 17, 2004--Cumberland Resources Ltd. (TSX:CLG - News; AMEX:CLG - News) reports that the feasibility study at its 100% owned Meadowbank Gold Project will not be completed by the end of the first quarter as originally planned. Due to seasonal constraints in shipping, the delay in the feasibility study will result in a one-year setback to the planned development of the project. Initial elements of the pre-production capital cost estimates provided by AMEC E&C Services Canada (AMEC) are higher than expected and reflect recent escalations in steel, fuel, and other construction consumables. In conjunction with finalizing the feasibility study AMEC (study manager) will examine alternatives to optimize capital costs and gold production. "Although the delay in the development of the project is unfortunate, the additional time will enable the Company to complete the remaining elements of the study including mining designs, schedules and operating cost estimates and complete a thorough evaluation of the various capital cost and production alternatives that are available," stated Kerry Curtis, President and CEO. Meadowbank is host to the third largest undeveloped gold resource in Canada with six closely spaced near surface gold deposits: Meadowbank Project Resources - Q1/2004(1) ---------------------------------------------------------------- Resource Category Tonnes Grade (g/t) Ounces Gold ---------------------------------------------------------------- Measured and Indicated 21,685,100 4.30 2,998,000 Inferred 5,699,700 4.30 788,000 ---------------------------------------------------------------- Cumberland's 2004 exploration program at Meadowbank, including two phases of diamond drilling totaling approximately 12,000 metres, will commence in the next several weeks. The $4.7 million exploration program will focus on exploration near existing gold deposits, numerous recently-defined prospects, and grassroots exploration within the 25 kilometre gold trend. Cumberland is a well financed mineral exploration and development company which holds interests in two undeveloped gold properties in Nunavut, Canada: Meadowbank (100%) and Meliadine West (22% carried to production). CUMBERLAND RESOURCES LTD. Kerry M. Curtis, B.Sc., P.Geo., President and CEO (1) Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. Mineral resource estimates do not account for mineability, selectivity, mining loss and dilution. These mineral resource estimates include inferred mineral resources that are normally considered too speculative geologically to have economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. There is also no certainty that these inferred resources will be converted to measured and indicated categories through further drilling, or into mineral reserves once economic considerations are applied. The standards employed by AMEC in estimating the mineral resources differ significantly from the requirements of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and the resource information reported by United States companies. The term "resources" does not equate to "reserve" and normally may not be included in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. "Resources" are sometimes referred to as "mineralization" or "mineral deposits". Resource estimates were prepared in conformance with the requirements set out in National Instrument 43-101 by AMEC independent qualified persons as defined by NI 43-101. All resource estimates (except for the PDF deposit which is not included in the current feasibility study) have been prepared by AMEC independent qualified persons as defined by NI 43-101 under the direction of Steve Blower, P.Geo. This document contains certain forward looking statements which involve known and unknown risks, delays and uncertainties not under the Company's control which may cause actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from the results, performance or expectations implied by these forward looking statements. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Contact: