Searchlight Minerals Corp. provides Clarkdale operations update


    HENDERSON, NV, Oct. 2 /CNW/ - Searchlight Minerals Corp. (OTCBB: SRCH)
(the "Company"), is pleased to provide investors with the following update on
development and construction activities at its Clarkdale Slag Project in
Clarkdale, Arizona.


    Searchlight Minerals continues to report significant progress towards the
completion of the Company's initial 100 to 250 ton-per-day (tpd) commercial
production module for the extraction of precious and base metals from a 20
million-ton slag pile in Clarkdale, Arizona.
    The slag pile is located approximately six miles from the historic United
Verde Copper Mine in Jerome, Arizona, which produced some of the richest
copper ore ever mined in the U.S. Clarkdale housed a smelter operation for the
United Verde Mine, and when smelting activities ceased in 1947, a
metal-bearing slag pile was left at the Clarkdale site. Independent engineers,
operating under chain-of-custody procedures, have estimated that the slag pile
is comprised of approximately 20.2 million tons of material that contains
approximately 0.50 ounces of gold per ton, along with silver, copper, zinc and
a ferro silicate byproduct.
    Thus far during 2008, the Company has completed the renovation of an
existing 26,000 sq. ft. building at the Clarkdale site and has received the
final Certificate of Occupancy from the Town of Clarkdale. This building
houses most of the components of the initial full-scale production module,
including crushing, grinding, leaching, filtering and ion exchange (IX)
circuits. Presently, all major equipment items, including conveyor systems,
impact mills, a vibratory mill, leaching tanks, filter presses, ion exchange
systems and lab equipment, have been installed in the building.
    The vast majority of operations related to the production of precious and
base metals are anticipated to occur within this primary processing facility.
The electrowinning (EW) process, which converts copper and zinc from solution
to plated metal, will be housed in a separate building that is currently under
construction. The EW building is on schedule for completion in November 2008.
    The Company recently completed the connection of its onsite well to the
primary processing building. This step eliminates the need for municipal water
and gives the Company complete control over the process water supply. The
screening plant for the demonstration phase has been delivered to the site,
which allows the Company to begin processing the raw slag for use in the
process. The Company has also completed extensive demolition and preliminary
grading on an approximately 12 acre site adjacent to the slag pile. That site
is anticipated to serve as the location for the facilities expansion planned
in full production.


    The Company is now actively engaged in the testing and start-up phase of
the project. Currently, equipment is being tested, and it is anticipated that
this will be followed by the integration of all major equipment components,
including the crushing, grinding, leaching and filtering circuits. Component
integration involves the fabrication, installation and connection of the
equipment circuits to each other and to the buildings' centralized electrical,
plumbing and air-flow systems. Testing and start-up of the full production
module is anticipated to commence when systems integration is complete.
However, since grinding represents one of the most critical aspects of the
production process, a bypass system is being installed that will allow for
separate testing and start-up of the grinding circuit, while work continues to
complete the integration of the remaining circuits.
    Systems integration plumbing on the grinding circuit is expected to be
completed in October 2008, electrical systems integration is approximately 80%
complete, and the air-flow and pump systems that move material through the
circuit are being installed. A short term bypass in the materials flow system
will allow for startup and testing of the grinding circuit in October 2008.


    "While progress towards the completion of a fully functioning production
module continues, it remains difficult for us to predict with great precision
when specific future milestones will be attained," stated Ian McNeil, Chief
Executive Officer of Searchlight Minerals Corp. "For example, the recent Gulf
Coast hurricane caused an unanticipated delay in the delivery of certain
equipment. Nonetheless, our team continues to do a marvelous job in achieving
day-to-day engineering and construction goals. The Company has often been able
to reallocate resources when minor delays occur, in order to advance
completion dates in other areas."


    "The startup process is comprised of a very complex series of
interconnected events that depend on a large number of moving parts," noted
McNeil. "We are still on track to be processing slag material through the
grinding circuit by the end of October 2008, and through the other circuits in
the main process building shortly thereafter. The Company remains in position
to complete the EW building by the end of November 2008 and to have a fully
operational production facility by the end of 2008."
    The objective of this update, and others that will follow, is to allow
our stockholders to more fully appreciate the Company's interim
accomplishments and progress towards its stated goals and objectives.

    About Searchlight Minerals Corp.

    Searchlight Minerals Corp. is a minerals exploration company focused on
the acquisition and development of projects in the southwestern United States.
The Company is currently involved in two projects: (1) the Clarkdale Slag
Project, located in Clarkdale, Arizona, is a reclamation project to recover
precious and base metals from the reprocessing of slag produced from the
smelting of copper ores mined at the United Verde Copper Mine in Jerome,
Arizona; and (2) the Searchlight Gold Project, which involves exploration for
precious metals on mining claims near Searchlight, Nevada. The Clarkdale
Project is the more advanced of two ongoing projects that the Company is
pursuing. The Searchlight Gold Project is an early-stage gold exploration
endeavor on 3,200 acres located approximately 50 miles south of Las Vegas,
    Searchlight Minerals Corp. is headquartered in Henderson, Nevada, and its
common stock is listed on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol "SRCH".
Additional information is available on the Company's website at and in the Company's filings with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission.

    Forward-Looking Statements

    This Press Release may contain, in addition to historical information,
forward-looking statements. Statements in this news release that are
forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties
concerning the specific factors disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" and
elsewhere in the Company's periodic filings with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission. When used in this news release, the words such as
"could," "plan", "estimate", "expect", "intend", "may", "potential", "should",
and similar expressions, are forward-looking statements. The risk factors that
could cause actual results to differ from these forward-looking statements
include, but are not restricted to the Company's limited operating history,
uncertainties about the availability of additional financing, geological or
mechanical difficulties affecting the Company's planned geological or other
work programs, uncertainty of estimates of mineralized material, operational
risk, environmental risk, financial risk, currency risk and other statements
that are not historical facts as disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors"
and elsewhere in the Company's periodic filings with securities regulators in
the United States. Consequently, risk factors including, but not limited to
the aforementioned, may result in significant delays to the projected or
anticipated production target dates.

For further information:

For further information: Carl Ager, Vice President at (702) 939-5247 or
via email at; RJ Falkner & Company, Inc., Investor
Relations Counsel at (800) 377-9893 or via email at

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