SOURCE: Sterling Mining Company

January 24, 2006 14:00 ET

Sterling Mining Starts Upper Country Underground Development at the Sunshine Mine

WALLACE, ID -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 24, 2006 -- Sterling Mining Company (OTC: SRLM) announced today that portal site preparation is now under way at its Sterling Tunnel Project. When completed, the Sterling Tunnel will provide underground sites for exploration drill stations and will serve as the connecting adit to the Silver Summit tunnel and Polaris drift on the eastern side of the Sunshine Mine. This Upper Mine Development, will provide ventilation, an enhanced upper mine escapeway system, and power distribution flexibility for the Sunshine Mine.

The immediate goal of the project is to enable the drilling of significant geophysical targets previously identified in 2003 and 2004 that appear to be related to up-dip projections of the silver-bearing Copper and Silver Syndicate Vein structures that lie north of the Sunshine Vein zone. In addition to this exploration, Sterling geologists can test for silver mineralization in historically unmined pillars along the access route, such as the Sunshine-Polaris Intervening Area.

"This project allows underground access so that we can begin, within only a few months of project startup, to determine the silver potential of the upper unmined and untested areas of the Sunshine Mine," said Mike McLean, Sterling's Sunshine Mine manager.

As part of Sterling's commitment to the Silver Valley it has selected local firms for this project. Portal site preparation is being performed by Zanetti Brothers Inc., of Osburn, Idaho. Portal site preparation will be followed by creating a structural steel portal designed to accommodate rubber-tired, diesel-powered equipment, ventilation ducts and utilities. Portal creation and subsequent development mining will be performed by Atlas-Fausett Contracting, also located in Osburn, Idaho. The 5,700-foot project will take approximately 15 months. The initial portal work and first 100 feet of advance will be on a single shift basis and then accelerate to an advanced rate of approximately 400 feet per month on a double shift basis. Diamond drilling of Sunshine Vein pillars adjacent to the Incline Shaft with pneumatic equipment is scheduled to start this summer, while drilling of the first Copper-Silver Syndicate Vein targets with larger electric-hydraulic equipment is expected to begin in early fall. Project mine development is engineered to incorporate flexibility which would allow rapid access to any significant discovered mineralization.

Sterling Mining Company controls the legendary Sunshine Mine, the richest silver mine in American history with more than 360 million ounces of production over the past century. The Company also holds several properties in Mexico, including the Baroness Tailings Project in the Zacatecas silver district, which is in production. Sterling stock trades on the OTC Market under the symbol "SRLM". Please visit the Sterling website at for more information.

Certain statements contained in this press release are "forward looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are based on beliefs of management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to management. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expected results.

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Contact Information

  • For more information contact:
    Sterling Mining Company
    Raymond De Motte, (208) 666-4070

    Investor Relations Contacts:
    CHF Investor Relations
    Olav Svela, Vice President & Account Manager
    Tel: (416) 868-1079 ext: 242
    Email Contact