Trading Symbol: SLI (TSX Venture Exchange)
EKL (Frankfurt Exchange)
SELSF (U.S. Clearing Symbol)
News Release 2010-05
February 3, 2010
ST. ELIAS MINES LTD. - TESORO GOLD PROJECT, PERU
Bulk Sample Returns Average Grade of 3.74 oz/t Gold
Initial Trenching Results Suggest Potential for Disseminated Gold
Lori McClenahan, President of St. Elias Mines Ltd. (�St. Elias� or the �Company�), is pleased to announce that an additional 9.43 tons of bulk sample material has been processed and has returned an average grade of 3.74 oz/t gold. The sample was obtained from the C2 Vein at the Tesoro Gold Project (the �Property�) located in southwestern Peru and is part of the Company�s ongoing underground exploration program. In addition, the Company is extremely pleased to announce that initial trench sampling suggest potential for disseminated gold.
The bulk sample material was extracted from the C2 Vein. The bulk samples were processed at the milling facility of Dynacor Gold Mines Inc. located immediately north of the Property. To date, a total of 32.3 tons of bulk sample material averaging 3.14 oz/t gold has been extracted from ongoing underground exploration development at the C2 Vein at the Tesoro Property including 4.1 tons averaging 5.84 oz/t gold and 13 tons averaging 2.02 oz/t gold. The Company is pursuing a high grade shoot on the C2 Vein to investigate its size, continuity and geometry.
To date, a total of 1,126 tons of bulk sample material averaging 0.93 oz/t gold has been extracted from ongoing underground exploration development at several locations on the Tesoro Property including:
� 643 tons averaging 0.77 oz/t gold from the A4 Vein;
� 451 tons averaging 1.00 oz/t gold from the C1 Vein; and
� 32 tons averaging 3.40 oz/t gold from the C2 Vein.
Initial Trench-Sampling Results
Upon receipt of preliminary geophysical sections generated in the field, a small trench-sampling program was completed across a geophysical anomaly corresponding to the �structural corridor� in the vicinity of the A4 Vein in Zona Central. Twenty-two 3-m-long bulk samples weighing about 30 kg each were collected from 3 trenches testing a 100-m strike length of the low-resistivity geophysical response. The trenches were aligned perpendicular to the long axis of one distinct low-resistivity anomaly and returned 50 to 1130 ppb gold across an alteration zone up to 45 meters wide, including economically significant assays of 553 ppb gold across 9 meters (3 samples). The zone tested by trenching is 100 meters long, and further work is required to evaluate the much longer strike length indicated by geophysical responses.
Distinct alteration consisting of mm- to cm-wide stockwork calcite veinlets with associated clay, chalcedony and quartz micro-veinlets was encountered in the trenches. Due to alteration, rock from the trenches is friable and most of the trench material naturally crumbles to less than 2 cm upon sampling. The samples were quartered through a Gilsen splitter to obtain a �8 kg representative sub sample for laboratory analysis. Samples were analyzed for gold by ALS Labs in Lima using both atomic absorption and cyanide leach techniques.
Geochemically anomalous gold (50 to 1130 ppb, average 249 ppb) was detected in all samples of the alteration zone corresponding to the geophysical anomaly. Assays of potential economic significance (> 200 ppb gold) were obtained from all three trenches, including 9 meters of 553 ppb gold and 6 meters of 360 ppb gold in the longest trench, which spans 45 meters of alteration. In addition, laboratory tests indicate that 78% of the gold can be extracted by cyanide leach.
The grades and initial recovery results suggest that with further work to expand the Tesoro disseminated zone, it might be feasible to establish a heap-leach extraction operation to complement production from the high grade veins.
Additional trenching and sampling to evaluate the bulk-tonnage potential of geophysical anomalies corresponding to the �structural corridor� are planned in the near future.
The Tesoro Gold Project
The Tesoro Gold Project is 100% owned by the Company with no underlying royalties. The Property covers approximately 2,000 hectares (5,000 acres) and is part of the well-known gold-bearing Nazca-Oco�a belt that is located in southern Peru. The Nazca-Oco�a gold belt has a long mining history dating back to pre-Incan time. Gold is associated with disseminated to semi-massive sulphides in quartz veins cutting a diorite intrusion. The continuity of the quartz veins and fractures is very impressive in the Nazca-Oco�a belt. While the veins tend to be narrow, the grade is significant and the mineralized structures tend to extend along strike for kilometres and to depths of up to 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) at the Tesoro Project and has carried out underground exploration and development work on three of these veins (C1, C2 and A4 Veins.) The veins are mesothermal, indicating that the vein structures may extend to considerable depths.
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.
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.
(signed �Lori McClenahan�)
The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or the accuracy of the contents of this document.
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