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Delaware firm buys Sterling Mining Co.

by Sarah Rose Fredlund
| April 23, 2010 9:00 PM

KELLOGG - A $24 million bid by Silver Opportunity Partners LLC, a company based in Delaware, won the auction for Sterling Mining Co.

Sterling will present the sale to Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Terry L. Myers next month for approval, Sterling's Robert Higdem said.

"Results of the auction were a monumental relief," he said Thursday. "Sterling will be able to, with court approval, pay off creditors at 100 percent. That's great."

Minco Silver Corporation, a Canadian silver mining firm, is the backup bidder.

Silver Opportunity Partners LLC President Michael Williams said the company was pleased to be the successful bidder for the assets and stock of Sterling Mining Co., which operates the Sunshine Mine.

"We not only have great respect for the historic significance of the Sunshine Mine, but also share with the community a keen regard for the mine's importance to the economic future of the region," he said.

"As such, we intend to honor the Sunshine Mine's legacy with a strong commitment to its rehabilitation in a manner that is both environmentally sensitive and developmentally sustainable."

Bruce Anderson, attorney for Sterling, said after the plan is approved in court, the funds raised through the auction will be distributed to creditors.

Sterling has been reorganizing for the last year under Chapter 11 in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Idaho.

There may be some funds leftover for the shareholders, Anderson said.

"We think the auction was a success."

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