Empire Mining Corporation
TSX VENTURE : EPC

Empire Mining Corporation

February 26, 2009 09:00 ET

Empire Awarded Exploration Licenses at its Bulqiza Chromite Project in Albania

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 26, 2009) - Empire Mining Corporation (TSX VENTURE:EPC) ("Empire" or the "Company") is very pleased to announce that it has been awarded four Exploration Licenses at its Bulqiza chromite project in eastern Albania. The Company first announced on May 21st, 2008, that it had been awarded an Exclusive Prospecting Permit covering the most prospective geological terrain within the productive Bulqiza Ultramafic Massif in eastern Albania. The Prospecting Permit provided the exclusive option to acquire exploration rights within the Prospecting Permit area.

The Exploration Licenses cover 64.5 km2, in four discrete project areas containing numerous chromite showings, prospects and past-producing mines. The licenses provide exclusive rights for conversion to Mining Permits. A map of the project areas can be viewed here: www.empireminingcorp.com/i/maps/albania/nr_bulqiza_locations-geology.pdf.

David Cliff, President and CEO of Empire, commented: "The Bulqiza district is known to contain some of the highest quality chromite deposits in the world. We are therefore very pleased that the Albanian government is persuaded that our proposal to consolidate much of the Bulqiza district reflects recognition that Empire has assembled the technical, financial and operating capability to undertake the required evaluation and planning for a substantial re-development of the country's chromite industry expected to be focused on the Bulqiza district."

The Bulqiza chromite deposits are noted for exceptional continuity along strike and dip and rank among the largest ophiolite-hosted, folded stratiform occurrences in the world. The ores are characterized by high grades (+40% Cr2O3) and metallurgical quality (CrFe ratios of 3:1) and command premium prices in global markets. Prior to the collapse of communism in the late 1980's the Albanian chromite industry, anchored by the famous Bulqiza Mine, was the third largest producer in the world.

Empire's Bulqiza-Batra License (38.8 km2) covers much of the southern half of the Massif, surrounds the Bulqiza Mine and covers the undeveloped south extension of the productive Bulqiza chromite structure within the adjacent Batra Mine. Other important historic mines within the license area include the Thekna, Lugu Gjat-10 Korriku, Ushitari and Ternova mines. Existing historic resources within the license documented and reported by the Albanian Geological Survey, total about 2 million tonnes grading +40% Cr2O3.

Empire's Bulqiza Veriore License (6.9 km2) contains numerous unexplored chromite showings and prospects and the projected deep north extension of the productive Bulqiza Mine ore structure. The Qafe Burreli (6.1 km2) and Liqeni i Dhive (12.7 km2) Licenses are located in the northern sector of the Bulqiza Massif and cover a number of significant but incompletely developed chromite occurrences and former mines with near surface resource potential.

The current Empire program consists of compilation and interpretation of the extensive historic data base assembled by the Albanian Geological Survey and the former state company, Albkrom, during the communist era. The Company's initial objective is to re-confirm state-defined resources, principally at the Batra and Thekna mines, and implement drilling and underground development programs necessary to expand existing resources and upgrade them to 43-101 standards.

The historic resources and figures indicated in this press release are not NI 43-101 compliant and a qualified person has not done sufficient work to confirm the figures or to classify the historic estimates as current mineral resources. They should not be relied upon and Empire Mining does not treat them as current.

The Company's Qualified Person, John Prochnau, B.Sc. (Mining Engineering), M.Sc. (Geology), and a Special Advisor to Empire, has reviewed and approved the content of this news release.

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD

Robert F. Giustra, Director

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