Searchlight Minerals Corp. staffs key positions as company's transition from construction to production approaches


    HENDERSON, NV, June 30 /CNW/ - Searchlight Minerals Corp. (OTC BB: SRCH)
(the "Company"), a minerals exploration company focused on the acquisition and
development of projects in the southwestern United States, continues to
maintain its primary focus on the development and implementation of the
Clarkdale Slag Recovery Project, which is located in Clarkdale, AZ.
    The Company is moving rapidly toward completion of the initial production
module and is closing in on commencement of the equipment testing and start-up
phase. In anticipation of future technical and operational staffing
requirements, strategic additions are being made to an already outstanding
cast of engineers, scientists and consultants that are working closely with
Dr. Richard Hewlett, the lead technical manager at Clarkdale. A
geological/metallurgical engineer with decades of practical experience in ore
reserve studies, mine planning, mine design, production scheduling and mine
management, Dr. Hewlett has provided consulting services to more than 30
mining and natural resource firms, including a number of the world's largest
mining companies. He is coordinating the activities of over fifty consultants,
contractors and equipment manufacturers at the Project. Cimetta Engineering is
the lead contractor responsible for integrating and implementing the complex
systems involved in the precious and base metals recovery plant. The systems
comprising the process "flow sheet" encompass stages of crushing, conveying,
grinding, filtering, leaching, ion exchange (IX), and electrowinning (EW).
    For each stage, each system, and each component, the Company has engaged
the most experienced, and knowledgeable performers in their respective fields.
Jesse Gage, a senior consultant on the project, is working closely with
management on a staffing plan that satisfies managerial and employee
requirements as the Company transitions from construction to start up, and on
to full production. Mr. Gage has over 20 years of mining experience and most
recently served as the Operations Manager at BHP Biliton's Pinto Valley plant,
which produces approximately 20 million pounds of copper annually. In
conjunction with the staffing plan, the Company recently brought on board two
critical additions to its Clarkdale technical team. George Cantua was hired in
June 2008 as the Clarkdale Project's Electrowinning Specialist, and Jishan Li,
Ph.D., will begin working in July as Laboratory Manager. Cantua and Li are
highly seasoned experts who will provide critical guidance throughout the
production module's initial testing phase, as well as invaluable leadership
and expertise during the final operations phase.
    "The electrowinning process is the critical, final operation in the
Clarkdale flow sheet," noted Ian McNeil, Chief Executive Officer of
Searchlight Minerals Corp. "In the electrowinning stage, copper and zinc metal
are produced, and acid is regenerated and re-circulated into the leach
circuit. George Cantua's talents were immediately exploited at Clarkdale in
the design and acquisition of the electrowinning systems. George also brings
to Clarkdale strong managerial skills that were developed during his 30-year
career in the metals and mining sector working with such major companies as
ASARCO, Phelps Dodge, Anamax and Bechtel Engineering."
    "Dr. Jishan Li fills a critical gap as an adjunct to Clarkdale's
technical team leader, Dr. Richard Hewlett," continued McNeil. "Dr. Li is a
highly qualified chemist with a wealth of experience in hydrometallurgical
analysis. He will provide critical support throughout start-up, as well as
quality assurance monitoring in the operations phase. Dr. Li is a Ph.D. in
metallurgical engineering who has published 20 scientific papers in his field.
He fits perfectly into the Clarkdale schematic, specializing in
hydrometallurgy and process flotation for gold, silver, copper, and
cobalt/nickel recovery."
    The Company has constructed, equipped, and recently received a
Certificate of Occupancy for, a fully functional laboratory with
state-of-the-art analytical equipment, including an Inductively Coupled Plasma
(ICP) system. The ICP is highly sensitive, and capable of determining an
extremely wide range of metals, as well as several non-metal materials, at
concentrations measured in parts per million. The ICP and other equipment will
allow Dr. Li and the lab team to conduct immediate, on-site analysis of
leaching results, in order to optimize the extraction of precious and base
metals from the slag pile.
    "It is also important to recognize that, while we have reached out
world-wide to meet the Company's technical demands, we continue to maintain a
policy of sourcing and hiring from the local community to the greatest extent
possible. We are highly impressed with the caliber of contractors,
sub-contractors and staff that we have hired, and with the quality of the
applicants we have on file for future positions. We are very grateful for the
outstanding support we have received from the Town of Clarkdale and members of
the community. We were recently informed that the Town of Clarkdale Council
will present the Company with a 'Spirit of Clarkdale Award for Property
Beautification and Historical Preservation'. The Company is thrilled to
receive this award as an acknowledgement of its efforts to grow as a
responsible and active member of this tightly-knit community," concluded

    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, (702) 939-5247,; RJ Falkner & Company, Inc., Investor Relations
Counsel, (800) 377-9893,

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