Sterling Mining Company
OTC Bulletin Board : SRLM
FRANKFURT : SMX
TSX : SMQ

Sterling Mining Company

March 25, 2008 13:25 ET

Sterling Mining Company Sunshine Mine Update

WALLACE, IDAHO--(Marketwire - March 25, 2008) - Sterling Mining Company (TSX:SMQ)(OTCBB:SRLM)(FRANKFURT:SMX) provided an update today of production and development activities at the Sunshine Mine.

Recent highlights include:

- Initiated ore production from the 3100 level Sunshine Vein area and commenced development in the sunshine ramp system to access a new production area

- Completed rehabilitation work on the West Chance escapeway system in preparation of production from identified ore blocks on the 2700 level

- Re-established essential mine services and the diesel shop on 2700 level and began re-assembling diesel equipment

- Installed new controls on the mine sandfill system to service lower level stopes

- Continued mining activities in the upper country on the Sunshine Vein area

- Next shipment of concentrate scheduled to occur before the end of March

Current mining activities are focused on resuming production and development from both the 3100 level in the Sunshine vein area and 2700 level in the West Chance area.

Initial work in the Sunshine vein area is to mine, and develop access to mine 1.38 million ounces over the next eighteen months. In the West Chance area, work is directed toward resuming mining and development by mid-April, targeting 1.82 million ounces that are planned to be mined during 2008 and 2009. In addition, Sterling has identified ore blocks between the 2900 and 3250 levels that will be developed later this year to meet 2008 and 2009 forecasted production goals. These mining areas are those identified in the Company's NI 43-101 technical report.

3100 level production and development

Sterling began producing ore from the Sunshine vein area on 3100 level in late February after rehabilitation of the lower mine's secondary escapeway and support services including electrical substations and diesel repair shop. Diesel equipment necessary for mining activities had to be disassembled on the surface, lowered over 3100 feet down the Jewell shaft and re-assembled. Crews have also initiated two development projects in the area. The first to access an identified ore block containing over 700,000 ounces and the second to access 3400 level for ventilation and connect with an existing ramp from the 3700 level. This work will allow the resumption of mining activities in two additional stopes below 3400 level upon completion of 3700 level dewatering. The development projects are also engineered to provide new platforms for diamond drilling into favorable target areas that previously had no access for drilling.

2700 level production and development

Rehabilitation activities have also accelerated on the 2700 level in advance of production from this area. Drift repair, including re-installing ground support for several hundred feet was completed on 3100 level to re-establish the West Chance secondary escapeway.

Sterling crews have also initiated diamond drilling on the 2700 level to explore areas adjacent to measured resource blocks identified in the NI 43-101 technical report. Any new discoveries in this program will add to the production mix and can be easily developed from the existing infrastructure.

Reestablish essential services on 2700 level

Electrical service, compressed air and water utilities have been re-established and the diesel repair shop outfitted. Diesel equipment is currently being lowered and re-assembled to commence production.

Lower level stope sandfill

The mine's sandfill system has been outfitted with new controls that will allow resumption of sandfilling on lower levels. The classified, hydraulically transported sand produced during the milling process is necessary to provide ground support in extraction areas as well as a stable platform for mining as ore removal proceeds upward.

Upper Country - Sunshine Vein

Mining of the Sunshine vein is continuing from the Sterling Tunnel. Development with diesel equipment is progressing to access the producing area lying approximately 70 feet below the initial cut at the Sterling Tunnel elevation. Diamond drilling activities are also continuing with contract drillers scheduled to begin probing a completely unexplored area of the Yankee Girl vein in early April. The Yankee Girl vein was mined extensively on lower levels of the mine.

Shipment of concentrate

The company is currently preparing for its third shipment of concentrate, scheduled to occur prior to the end of March. The company anticipates increasing shipments in the second and third quarter and currently has an arrangement to ship up to 200 tons of concentrate to an offshore smelter.

Ray De Motte, Sterling's President stated "Resuming ore production from both the 2700 and 3100 levels is a very significant milestone on the Sunshine's path to long-term sustainable production and is key to meeting our 2008 forecast. Pursuing development to reach identified ore zones will also be a major component of our plan for increasing production over the next three years. Furthermore, ongoing development will establish additional drill stations for expanding exploration at the Sunshine Mine."

About Sterling Mining Company

Sterling Mining controls the Sunshine Mine, which began initial production in December 2007, and related exploration lands in the prolific Silver Valley of northern Idaho. The Company also holds several silver properties in Mexico, including the Barones Tailings Project in the Zacatecas Silver District. Shares of Sterling Mining Company trade on the TSX under the symbol "SMQ", on the OTCBB under the symbol "SRLM", and also on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the trading symbol "SMX".

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, visit the Company's website at www.SterlingMining.com.

To receive Sterling news via email, please email juliane@chfir.com and specify "SMQ news" in the subject line.

Mr. Derek Rance P.Eng, of Behre Dolbear & Company, Inc., qualified person under NI-43-101, supervised the preparation of the technical information contained in this press release. Mr. Rance is independent of the Company. For complete and additional information regarding the technical aspects discussed in this press release, including disclosure with respect to assumptions and parameters regarding the future production estimates discussed herein, the reader is referred to Sterling's technical report with respect to the Sunshine Mine, available at www.sedar.com.

Cautionary Language and Forward Looking Statements

This press release may contain "forward-looking statements", which are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Investors are cautioned that such statements are not guarantees of future performance and results. Risks and uncertainties about the Company's business are more fully discussed in the Company's disclosure documents filed from time to time with the Canadian securities authorities

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy securities, and contains forward-looking statements regarding the Company within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act. These statements are based on assumptions that the Company believes are reasonable but that are subject to uncertainties and business risks. Actual results relating to any and all of these subjects may differ materially from expected results. Factors that could cause results to differ materially include economic and political events, the ability to raise capital in the financial markets, and other factors discussed in the Company's periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006 and subsequent 10-Q and 8-K filings.

Contact Information

  • Sterling Mining Company
    Raymond De Motte
    President
    (208) 699-6097
    or
    Sterling Mining Company
    Monique Hayes
    Marketing/Communications
    (208) 699-6097
    Website: www.SterlingMining.com
    or
    CHF Investor Relations
    Alison Tullis
    Account Manager
    (416) 868-1079 x233
    Email: alison@chfir.com
    Website: www.chfir.com