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Judge delays Sterling Mining auction: Company controls lease

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NYBob Member Level  Monday, 03/15/10 11:31:40 PM
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Judge delays Sterling Mining auction: Company controls lease of Sunshine Mine

Posted on: Tue, 02 Feb 2010 22:46:42 EST


Feb 02, 2010 (The Spokesman-Review - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --

A federal bankruptcy judge has given Sterling Mining Co. another four months before the company, which controls the lease of the historic Sunshine Mine near Kellogg, is auctioned off.

The sale was scheduled for this week, but Judge Terry Myers agreed Tuesday to give Sterling until June 4 to file a plan of reorganization.

Sterling asked the judge for an extension to learn how much it owes
to the Coeur d'Alene Tribe and the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency in royalties and penalties.
According to court documents, Sterling must pay a yet-to-be
determined penalty on $382,000 in past-due smelter royalties
from the underground silver mine.

The tribe and EPA each submitted claims for $1.8 million to
the Bankruptcy Court.
Sterling officials are disputing that amount.
A three-day court hearing on the claims is set to begin March 10
in Boise.

Two Canadian mining companies have submitted bids for Sterling,
whose primary asset is the lease of the Sunshine Mine.
Sterling reopened the closed mine but filed for bankruptcy
shortly afterward.

The 125-year-old mine is a storied part of Idaho's past, producing more than 360 million ounces of silver.

It was the site of one of the nation's deadliest hard-rock mine disasters. Ninety-one miners perished during the 1972 Sunshine Mine fire.

Minco Silver Corp., of Vancouver, B.C., which is one of Sterling's debtors, submitted a $12.5 million bid for the company. The Bankruptcy Court also received an $11.75 million bid from Alberta Star, another Canadian company.

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http://www.spokesman.com. Copyright (c) 2010, The Spokesman-Review, Spokane,

Wash. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For reprints, email

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to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave.,

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