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


Jun 30, 2008, 01:00 ET from Searchlight Minerals Corp.

    HENDERSON, NV, June 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - 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
     "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 McNeil.
     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, Nevada.
     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.
     CONTACT: Carl Ager, Vice President, (702) 939-5247,; RJ Falkner & Company, Inc., Investor Relations
 Counsel, (800) 377-9893,

SOURCE Searchlight Minerals Corp.