COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho, May 6, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Timberline Resources Corporation (NYSE Amex:TLR) ("Timberline") is pleased to announce that the Company has submitted the Hard Rock Operating Permit Application for its Butte Highlands Gold Project on behalf of the Butte Highlands Joint Venture to the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The application process and the granting of the operating permit is a requirement to advance from the exploration phase of the project into the operational phase. This submission is the beginning of a comprehensive review involving all affected agencies. Timberline, and its joint venture partner, Highland Mining, LLC, an affiliate of Small Mine Development (SMD), are currently advancing the Butte Highlands Gold Project under a Montana DEQ Exploration Permit. This exploration permit allows the joint venture to: 1) construct all surface facilities necessary for the exploration; 2) proceed with the development of up to 6,700 feet of underground decline; 3) perform 60,000 feet of underground core and RC exploration and definition drilling; 4) mine and remove a 10,000 ton bulk sample of ore to be processed off site. Currently, all surface facilities, settling ponds, mine water discharge system, and approximately 800 feet of underground ramp with staged sediment sumps and explosives storage areas have been completed. Core and RC drilling are expected to commence in July 2010. Timberline Executive Chairman and Vice President of Exploration, Paul Dircksen, commented, "Because the exploration infrastructure is virtually the same as that required for full operation, the mining aspect of the project will only impact a small amount of additional acreage. Given that the majority of the proposed disturbance associated with the land application discharge (LAD) of mine water is on land Timberline owns, that there is no proposal to process ore on the site, and the Company's good working relationship with the regulatory agencies reviewing the application, management of Timberline and the Butte Highlands Joint Venture anticipate advancing the project seamlessly from the current exploration phase into production."