Empire Mining Corporation

Empire Mining Corporation

November 07, 2011 09:00 ET

Empire Mining Places Bulqiza Chromite Project on Care and Maintenance

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 7, 2011) - Empire Mining Corporation (TSX VENTURE:EPC) ("Empire") reports that it has suspended its Albanian operations due to the discovery of material omissions in its renewed exploration licenses. In January 2011, Empire applied for automatic renewal of its Albanian exploration licenses, having fulfilled all legal and technical requirements required by the legislation under which the licenses were granted in 2009. Due to the implementation of new Albanian mining laws, the license renewal was delayed but finally completed on October 30, 2011. While the renewal was pending, Empire was permitted to continue chromite exploration but restricted from conducting mining activities. Under the old law, Empire could sell ore it encountered in exploration activities, however under the new law ore can only be sold once a mining license is granted; it was therefore Empire's intent to mine and stockpile ore upon renewal of its exploration licenses and to simultaneously apply for mining licenses. While the exploration licenses have now been renewed, it has unfortunately come to Empire's attention that they contain material omissions with respect to size and coordinates.

In an effort to rectify the matter, Empire has held emergency meetings with high-level members of the Albanian government, including the Albanian Prime Minister's Advisor, and both the Minister and Deputy Minister of Economy, Trade and Energy. Initial reports from these meetings suggest that the omissions identified in the renewed exploration licenses may simply be due to errors made by the Department of Mines; if true, this issue could possibly be rectified expeditiously. However, based on the well-established precedent of bureaucratic delays consistently encountered by Empire in Albania, management has decided that the only reasonable recourse is to suspend Albanian operations and lay-off Albanian staff until the exploration license issues are rectified, and the subsequent mining licenses are awarded in full.

Moving forward, Empire plans to focus additional efforts on advancing its two projects in Turkey. At the Karapinar copper project a strong chargeability anomaly 800 x 800 meters across indicates a possible significant extension of the porphyry deposit and secondary enrichment. At the Demirtepe project ongoing sampling at the newly-identified Southwest Zone, has identified a large and continuous copper-gold anomalous zone located approximately 1 km to the southwest of the Main Zone where drilling has consistently intercepted significant shallow copper-gold-silver and molybdenum skarn mineralization.


David Cliff, President & CEO

This release contains forward-looking information and statements, as defined by law including without limitation Canadian securities laws and the "safe harbor" provisions of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 ("forward-looking statements"), respecting Empire's Albanian plans, the possibility of the Albanian government correcting the omissions regarding the exploration licenses, and the possibility of the Albanian government granting the subsequent mining licenses. Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including without limitation the ability to conduct Empire's plans in accordance with applicable law, including Albanian employment law; availability of possible legal solutions in Albania; the ability to acquire necessary permits and other authorizations; availability and willingness of government personnel to investigate and correct the omissions; the willingness and ability of the Albanian government to issue corrected exploration licenses and mining licenses, in a timely fashion or at all; potential costs associated with lay-offs and application and obtaining of required licenses; cost increases; risks associated with exploration projects; dependence on third parties for services; non-performance by contractual counterparties; title risks; and general business and economic conditions. Forward-looking statements are based on a number of assumptions that may prove to be incorrect, including without limitation assumptions about: that Empire will be able to lay off its Albanian personnel in compliance with applicable law and with contracts among such personnel; that the Albanian government may correct the license omissions; that the Albanian government may grant corrected exploration licenses and mining licenses, in a timely fashion or at all; general business and economic conditions; the timing and receipt of required approvals; that Empire will be able to provide necessary documentation to the Albanian government as may be required in connection with the foregoing plans; and ongoing relations with employees, partners and joint venturers. Empire wishes to clarify that there is no certainty that the exploration licenses may be corrected in a timely fashion or at all, that the mining licenses may be granted in a timely fashion or at all, and that as a consequence Empire may be required to permanently discontinue its Albanian operations. The foregoing list is not exhaustive and Empire undertakes no obligation to update any of the foregoing except as required by law.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

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