Vancouver, B.C. - Bear Creek Mining Corporation (TSX Venture: BCM) (“Bear Creek” or the “Company”) is very pleased to provide updates on its Corani and Santa Ana feasibility studies. At Corani, 1,133 hectares of surface land acquisition is scheduled for closure later this year. This land purchase will comprise over 50% of the project infrastructure needs and importantly, the acquired surface will cover approximately 30% of the ore deposit and is pivotal to the acquisition of remaining surface rights before year-end.
Final bids from engineering firms for the Corani Feasibility Study are currently being reviewed for awarding of the contract in early October. Significant opportunities being taken into the Corani Feasibility Study include:
- Throughput optimization will immediately be evaluated for potential plant capacity to increase by 50% from the prefeasibility study to 22,500 tonnes per day.
- Subject to the feasibility study results on increased plant capacity, silver and base metals output would increase by 50% per year to approximately 15 million ounces per year with only an approximately 20% increase in capital required for larger mills, flotation capacity, and increased initial tailings dam requirements.
- Assuming that the larger plant size analysis is positive, increasing throughput will take the mine life from 27 years to less than 20 years resulting in further improvement to IRR and NPV.
Feasibility-level metallurgical testing continues towards further process optimization focusing on the first five years of commercial production. Test results are in line with the Prefeasibility Study completed in September 2009 (See news release dated 14 September 2009). The Corani Feasibility Study is expected to be completed in the 3rd Quarter 2011.
Santa Ana Project- Land acquisition at Santa Ana is advancing with completion also expected by year-end 2010. Water wells have been drilled and are currently being tested for two alternative process water sources for the Feasibility Study. The Feasibility Study is in the final stages with completion expected in early October, leading to the submission of the environmental impact study before year-end 2010 followed by formal construction permit applications. Given that approval of final permits generally takes nine months from submission, the Company envisions construction commencing by Q4 2011. First silver production is targeted by the second quarter 2012 with ramp-up to an annual production rate of 5 million ounces of silver per year as outlined in the Santa Ana Preliminary Economic Assessment to occur within two quarters after commencement of leaching. (See news release dated 20 April 2009).
Andrew Swarthout, President and CEO of Bear Creek states “The acquisition of these key surface rights and steadily advancing feasibility studies on two separate silver deposits solidly places Bear Creek on track to becoming a 15 million to 20 million ounce per year producer during 2014 with first production coming from Santa Ana in 2012 at a rate of 5 million ounces per year. The Santa Ana feasibility study, due for announcement the first week of October will describe a robust project in-line with the Preliminary Economic Assessment and recent guidance. In addition, the Study will present detailed alternative mine plans taking advantage of recent increases in silver prices.”
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.
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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 of Marc Leduc, P. Eng., Chief Operating Office, Christian Rios, P. Geo., Manager of Exploration and the President and CEO, Andrew Swarthout, P. Geo., who serve as the Qualified Persons under the definitions of NI 43-101.
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. 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.