Vancouver, B.C. - Bear Creek Mining Corporation (TSX Venture: BCM) (“Bear Creek” or the “Company”) is very pleased to announce results from the fourth resource estimate at the Company’s 100% owned Santa Ana leachable silver deposit. This resource estimation will be used to derive the mineable reserves and mine planning for the Santa Ana Feasibility Study expected to be completed in September 2010. Santa Ana is located in southeastern Peru, 200 kilometers south of the Company’s Corani silver-base metal deposit which is also undergoing a final Feasibility Study. Highlights of this press release include:
- Current Silver resources are:
- Measured and Indicated 101.8M tonnes grading 41.5 g/t Ag containing 136M ounces silver
- Inferred 21.6M tonnes grading 40.6 g/t Ag containing 28.2M ounces silver
- Deposit still open in 4 directions
- 39% increase to 136M ounces silver in M&I from the previous estimate of 98M ounces
- Mineralization remains open to the north, south and west plus at depth
Andrew Swarthout, President and CEO of Bear Creek, states “We are very encouraged with the fourth resource estimation completed on the Santa Ana leachable silver deposit. Measured and Indicated resources again increased significantly demonstrating the strong continuity of the mineralization and allowing for the continued conversions of what was previously categorized as waste to mineralized material and Inferred resource to Measured and Indicated resources. The Feasibility Study will now focus on optimal mining cut-off grades for conversion to mineable Proven and Probable reserves. The resource estimation confirms the robust project described by the Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) with potentially a 50% longer mine life than previously envisioned.”
Mr. Swarthout continues “Ongoing metallurgical testing continues to indicate that the project can employ low-cost open-pit mining and heap leaching with at least 70% silver recoveries. The engineering work indicates that the infrastructure is favorable for mine development and that capital costs will remain in-line with those presented in the PEA with further optimization opportunities being evaluated.”
The updated resource estimation was completed in July 2010 by Independent Mining Consultants (IMC) of Tucson, Arizona, with John Marek, P.E. acting as the Independent Qualified Person under NI 43-101. The resource estimate is based upon 348 diamond drill holes totaling 60,458 meters completed through June. The estimation is presented below using two cutoff grades. The global resource assumes a $16 per ounce silver price applied to mineralized material contained within a pit determined by 70% silver recoveries under heap leaching and operating costs established in the Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) prepared by IMC in April 2009 (see news release dated 20 April 2009). Lead and zinc are not recovered in heap leaching and not considered in the resource estimation. Lead and zinc grades are reported as they are elevated and could become economically significant with additional exploration.
Mineral Resource Based on 15 g/t Ag cut-off and Prudent Open Pit Constraints
July 12, 2010
The stripping ratio is approximately 1.65:1. Importantly, the resource model is constrained such that only blocks with nearby drill holes are considered in the resource; therefore, additional drilling is expected to continue to convert waste blocks into resource, further reducing the stripping ratio. The estimation utilized indicator kriging to establish the limits of mineralization. Block grades were then calculated using a linear kriging method incorporating 5-meter drill hole assay composites.
The deposit can be subdivided into the lower-grade periphery and a higher-grade central part of the deposit for which the resources are tabulated below applying a 19 g/t silver cut-off grade for the estimation. This higher grade zone of the deposit contains 101.8 million ounces of silver in a pit with a waste to mineralized material ratio of 1.75:1 (M+I Resources / Waste + Inferred Resources).
Higher Grade Core Contained in Smaller Open Pit Shapes
19 g/t Silver Cutoff
July 12, 2010
Drilling has left the deposit open to the NNW and potential for expansion remains at depth, high-grade and leach grade expansions. Mineralization is typically contained within northerly and northeasterly trending, sub-vertical structural corridors within which high-grade silver mineralization is surrounded by lower-grade halos. Silver mineralization is also found along bedding planes in the thick andesite flow and in sub-vertical, dilational zones within the bedding.
Santa Ana Feasibility Study Progress
Work is continuing on the preparation of the Santa Ana Feasibility Study and Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA). The Company expects to release the results of the Feasibility Study in September 2010 and to file the ESIA before the end of the year.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Andrew Swarthout - President and CEO, or Patrick De Witt - Investor Relations
Phone: 604-685-6269 Direct: 604-628-1111
For further information, please visit the Company’s website (www.bearcreekmining.com)
All of Bear Creek’s exploration programs and pertinent disclosure of a technical or scientific nature are prepared by or prepared under the direct supervision Marc Leduc, P.Eng., COO and/or the President and CEO, Andrew Swarthout, P.Geo., Christian Rios, P.Geo., Exploration Manager who serve as the Qualified Persons under the definitions of NI 43-101. The block model estimate was prepared by Independent Mining Consultants of Tucson Arizona. John Marek P.E. acted as the independent qualified person as defined by Canada’s National Instrument 43-101. Additionally the methods used in determining and reporting the resources are consistent with the CIM Best Practices Guidelines for the estimation of mineral resources and mineral reserves. The method used in the resource calculation is equivalent to the method used in the resource calculation shown in our, May 26, 2009 Technical Report. For this resource estimate we have used metal prices based on a 3-year backward average and a 2-year forward price based on the current metal markets, Assumptions used in the resource model by IMC. Silver Price= $16.00/oz; Silver Recovery= 70%; Zinc Recovery= 0%; Lead Recovery= 0%; Smelter charges: Silver= $0.40 per ounce; Mining Costs per tonne= $1.67; Process plus G&A cost per tonne= $5.30; Pit Slopes= 40 degrees in all rock types. All diamond drilling has been performed using HQ diameter core with recoveries averaging greater than 95%. Core is logged and split on site under the supervision of Bear Creek geologists. Sampling is done on two-meter intervals and samples are transported by Company staff to Juliaca, Peru for direct shipping to ALS Chemex, Laboratories in Lima, Peru. ALS Chemex is an ISO 9001:2000-registered laboratory and is preparing for ISO 17025 certification. Silver, lead, and zinc assays utilize a multi-acid digestion with atomic absorption (“ore-grade assay method”). The QC/QA program includes the insertion every 20th sample of known standards prepared by SGS Laboratories, Lima. A section in Bear Creek’s website is dedicated to sampling, assay and quality control procedures.
Certain disclosure in this release, including management’s assessment of Bear Creek’s plans and projects, constitutes forward-looking statements that are subject to numerous risks, uncertainties and other factors relating to Bear Creek’s operation as a mineral exploration company that may cause future results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. .These risks, uncertainties and other factors are disclosed in Bear Creek’s continuous disclosure filings with Canadian securities regulators including its most recent annual information form, available on www.sedar.com. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Bear Creek expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.