St. Elias Mines Ltd.
TSX VENTURE : SLI
FRANKFURT : EKL

St. Elias Mines Ltd.

February 23, 2009 14:08 ET

St. Elias Mines Ltd.: Tesoro Gold Project, Peru

Bulk Sample Batches Return Average Grade of 0.94 oz/t Gold

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 23, 2009) - Lori McClenahan, President of St. Elias Mines Ltd. ("St. Elias" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:SLI)(FRANKFURT:EKL)(U.S. Clearing Symbol:SELSF), is pleased to announce that an additional 217 tonnes of bulk sample material has been processed and has returned an averge grade of 0.94 oz/t gold. The sample was obtained from the Tesoro Gold Project (the "Property") located in southwestern Peru and is part of the Company's ongoing underground exploration program.

Bulk Samples

The 217 tonnes of the bulk sample material was extracted from the A4 Vein. A total of 203.88 ounces of gold has been recovered. Most of the material was extracted from pods of high grade material discovered during routine sampling of the shafts and the 42m level. The bulk samples were processed at the milling facility of Dynacor Gold Mines Inc. located immediately north of the Property. Included in this material is 40 tonnes grading 0.21 oz/t, 15 tonnes grading 1.0 oz/t, 8 tonnes grading 2.35 oz/t and 8 tonnes grading 4.69 oz/t gold.

A Brief History of the Tesoro Project

The Tesoro Gold Project is 100% owned by the Company with no underlying royalties. The Property is part of the well-known gold-bearing Nazca-Ocona belt that is located in southern Peru. The Nazca-Ocona gold belt has a long mining history dating back to pre-Incan time. Gold is associated with disseminated sulfides that seeped into quartz veins or rock fractures within the intrusive body. The continuity of the quartz veins and fractures is very impressive in the Nazca-Ocona belt. Although the veins are narrow, the mineralized structures tend to extend along strike for kilometres and to depths of 1,000 metres.

To date, the Company has identified five mineralized zones with more than 50 quartz veins (having a total combined length of 9km) and has carried out underground exploration and development work on two of these veins (C1 and A4 Veins). While the veins tend to be narrow, the grade is significant and the veins are mesothermal, indicating that the vein structures extend to considerable depths.

It is generally difficult to prove resources from drill holes in narrow vein systems. In that regard, the Company has adopted an exploratory underground development program (access adits, cross cuts, drifts and raises) to block out mineral resources. The program includes bulk sampling of material obtained from the development material.

The Company not only obtains superior exploration information using drifts rather than drilling but it is able to recoup a portion of its exploration expenditures by selling gold recovered from bulk samples processed at the Dynacor mill. To date, a total of 950 tonnes of bulk sample material has been processed and has returned an average grade of 0.86 oz/t gold. A total of 813.56 ounces of gold has been recovered. The funds received have been applied to the continuing program thereby reducing the Company's exploration costs.

In a recent geological report written by John Brophy, P.Geo., an inferred mineral resource of 4,290 tonnes grading 1.04 oz/t gold with a total gold content of 4,460 ounces has been calculated for the C1 Vein based on assay results from existing underground workings. A conservative figure of 100 meters was used for the length of the vein in the resource estimate and the depth of the evaluated part of the vein is considered to be 100 meters in the resource estimate. The C1 Vein is open to the east on all levels and to depth.

Based on results to date and the nature of the project, the Company is commencing preliminary production planning in conjunction with its professional consultants.

The Tesoro Property has never been evaluated to depth, or to its full strike potential. This leaves a large potential for the discovery of additional mineralization.

Qualified Person

All technical work is being supervised by, and the contents of this news release have been verified by, John Brophy, P.Geo., a Canadian geologist residing in Peru, who is a "qualified person" as defined in National Instrument 43-101, Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.

For additional information on St. Elias and its projects, please visit us at www.steliasmines.com or call 1-888-895-5522 (toll free US and Canada).

ST. ELIAS MINES LTD.

Lori McClenahan, President

This News Release may contain forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, comments regarding the timing and content of upcoming work programs, geological interpretations, potential mineral recovery processes, etc. Forward-looking statements address future events and conditions and therefore involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statement.

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

Contact Information

  • St. Elias Mines Ltd.
    Terry Nixon
    Manager, Corporate Communications
    Toll Free: 1-888-895-5522
    (604) 669-9626 (FAX)
    Website: www.steliasmines.com