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OTC: CDYCF
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February 18, 2009:

Cardero Successfully Produces Bench-Scale Pig Iron From Pampa El Toro Iron Concentrate

NR09-03

Cardero Resource Corp. ("Cardero" or the "Company") -- (TSX: CDU, NYSE-A: CDY, Frankfurt: CR5) is pleased to provide an update on the Pampa el Toro iron sands project, located in the Marcona district, Peru. The Company has now completed its Phase I briquetting work and is currently undertaking the Phase II bench-scale pig iron production program.

A portion of the Pampa El Toro concentrate was agglomerated, processed into liquid hot metal (molten iron) and cast into pigs in a total of ten bench-scale electric arc-based melting furnace tests. A total of 128 kilograms of pig iron was produced. The test work is being conducted in cooperation with the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s National Energy Technology Lab (NETL) located in Albany, Oregon.

The pig iron product is currently undergoing chemical analysis. Additional bench-scale smelting tests may be conducted following receipt of results. Knowledge gained from the bench scale tests will be incorporated in the large scale smelting test.

The Phase III pilot-scale melting test will be designed to run with the optimum briquette formulation along with operating control parameters gleaned from the bench-scale smelting test. The goal for the pilot-scale melting test is to demonstrate consistent melter operation, uniform hot metal quality and slag quality over an extended period of operation time.

The pilot-scale melting test program is undergoing a permitting process that is targeted to be completed by the end of Q2 2009, with the actual pilot plant operation and final report to follow.

QUALIFIED PERSON

Mr. Glen Hoffman MMSA QP, the President & CEO of Cardero Iron Ore Company Ltd. and a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed the scientific and technical information that forms the basis for this news release. Mr. Hoffman is not independent of the Company as he is an officer of a subsidiary and holds common shares and incentive stock options in Cardero.

The metallurgical test work is designed and directly observed on site by Dr. S. Jayson Ripke, Cardero Iron Ore Management (USA) Inc.'s Vice President - Technical. Dr. Ripke is responsible for all on-site aspects of metallurgical testing and the quality control/quality assurance. The test work is being conducted in cooperation with the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s National Energy Technology Lab (NETL) located in Albany, Oregon.

About Cardero Resource Corp.

Cardero's focus through 2009 will be to realise the considerable value it believes is locked in the Company's significant iron ore assets in the Marcona District of southern Peru and in Minnesota, USA. The common shares of the Company are currently listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (symbol CDU), the New York Stock Exchange Alternext-US (symbol CDY) and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (symbol CR5). For further details on the Company readers are referred to the Company's web site (www.cardero.com), Canadian regulatory filings on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and United States regulatory filings on EDGAR at www.sec.gov.

On Behalf of the Board of Directors of
CARDERO RESOURCE CORP.

"Hendrik van Alphen" (signed)
Hendrik van Alphen, President

Contact Information:
Quentin Mai, Manager - Corporate Communications & Investor Relations
Email: qmai@cardero.com
Phone: 1-888-770-7488 (604) 408-7488 / Fax: (604) 408-7499

The Toronto Stock Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the content of this news release, which has been prepared by management.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 27E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such statements include, without limitation, statements regarding the timing, cost and nature of future anticipated exploration programs and the results thereof, the potential results of future metallurgical testing on material from Longnose, the potential production of pig iron and the recovery of titanium from slag, the discovery and delineation of mineral deposits/resources/reserves at the Company's Longnose project and the potential acquisition of additional iron-titanium properties in Minnesota. Information concerning mineral resource estimates also may be deemed to be forward-looking statements in that it reflects a prediction of the mineralization that would be encountered if a mineral deposit were developed and mined. Although the Company believes that such statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such as: believe, expect, anticipate, intend, estimate, postulate, potential and similar expressions, or are those, which, by their nature, refer to future events. The Company cautions investors that any forward-looking statements by the Company are not guarantees of future results or performance, and that actual results may differ materially from those in forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to, variations in the nature, quality and quantity of any mineral deposits that may be located, the inability of the Company to obtain any necessary permits, consents or authorizations required for its activities, the inability of the Company to produce minerals from its properties successfully or profitably, the inability of the Company to continue its projected growth, the inability of the Company to raise the necessary capital to continue its operations or to be able to fully implement its planned business strategies, including those detailed above, and other risks identified in the Company's most recent Annual Information Form and Form 40F annual report, which may be viewed at www.sedar.com and www.sec.gov, respectively.

All of the Company's Canadian public disclosure filings may be accessed via www.sedar.com and its United States disclosure filings via www.sec.gov and readers are urged to review these materials, including the technical reports filed with respect to the Company's mineral properties.

This press release contains information with respect to adjacent or similar mineral properties in respect of which the Company has no interest or rights to explore or mine. The Company advises US investors that the US Securities and Exchange Commission's mining guidelines strictly prohibit information of this type in documents filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned that the Company has no interest in or right to acquire any interest in any such properties, and that mineral deposits on adjacent or similar properties are not indicative of mineral deposits on the Company's properties.

This press release is not, and is not to be construed in any way as, an offer to buy or sell securities in the United States.