Vancouver, B.C. - Bear Creek Mining (TSX Venture: BCM / BVL: BCM) (“Bear Creek” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide updates on its development and exploration programs in Peru. The Company maintains an aggressive generative exploration program while advancing the development of the Corani silver-lead-zinc mine with a nearly completed feasibility study for a mine capable of producing up to 15 million ounces of silver per year. The three exploration prospects described in this update range from advanced Phase II drilling programs at the Tassa silver/gold prospect and at the La Yegua copper prospect to new acquisitions and discoveries. (To view location map of new projects please refer to: http://www.bearcreekmining.com/i/pdf/BearCreekMiningProjectLocationMapOct11-2011.pdf)
Corani Silver-Lead-Zinc Deposit - The feasibility study is scheduled for completion in early November and is expected to describe a robust project in line with previous guidance at an expanded throughput rate (22,500 tpd, or approximately 15M ounces Ag/year).
Drilling continues with three rigs principally focusing on condemnation and geotechnical drilling at the tailings and waste rock sites. Interestingly, drilling has encountered mineralization in the vicinities of the planned waste rock and tailings dam facilities. The first condemnation drill hole (CS-01) located in the upper part of the tailings storage facility 2.8 kilometers south of the current pit limit intersected 16 meters averaging 0.55 g/t Au, 23.95 g/t Ag, 1.26% Pb, and 0.45% ̥Zn. The mineralization intersected to date is not expected to significantly alter the project design pending further drilling results; however, the tailings storage facility may require minor modification if offset drilling demonstrates that the mineralization warrants inclusion in the reserve/resource models. Furthermore, two engineering holes (MS02 and MS03) drilled in waste rock sites intersected altered and fractured sedimentary basement rock containing highly anomalous Zn and weakly to moderately anomalous Pb, Cu, Ag and Au. Four of the initially planned fourteen condemnation drill holes have been completed. Results of additional drilling and potential impacts on the project infrastructure will be reported as information is received and evaluated. Importantly, the intersection of potentially economic mineralization during the condemnation and engineering drilling demonstrates that further exploration potential is significant in this under-explored district. (To view Corani drill hole location map please refer to: http://www.bearcreekmining.com/i/pdf/CoraniDrillHoleOctober11-2011.pdf)
Santa Ana Silver Deposit - The status of Santa Ana remains under the conditions of the Supreme Decree issued on June 25, 2011 by the previous Peruvian administration (see news release dated June 25, 2011). The Company maintains its firm position that any modification or annulment to the Supreme Decree, granted in 2007 in full accordance with Peruvian law and confirming Bear Creek’s titles to its mineral concessions located within 50 kilometers of the territorial border, is illegal and without basis. The Company is hopeful that a negotiated settlement which remains the preferred outcome for the Santa Ana silver project despite the legal actions taken by the Company to counter the Supreme Decree issued by the Garcia government can be reached in order to achieve a mutually acceptable resolution. Management is confident that a resolution can be reached with the new government which will place this important investment for Peru back on the development track as Santa Ana is supported by local communities and will provide significant revenues, growth and local employment that will assist in reducing poverty in over eighteen communities located in the department of Puno, Peru.
Related to the issuance of the Supreme Decree in June 2011, the Company was recently notified of a civil lawsuit lodged by the Ministry of Energy and Mines’ former administration against the Company claiming that the Santa Ana titles were not acquired by the Company in accordance with the law. Similar to the action taken under the Supreme Decree, the Company and its Peruvian legal counsel strongly maintain that the grounds of this action are without merit.
Tassa silver-gold (100% BCM) - Phase II drilling is scheduled to commence by October 25th with an estimated 4,000 meters in approximately 9 drill holes. As reported, Phase I drilling encountered numerous mineralized intercepts including 60 meters averaging 224.2 g/t Ag from 24 to 84 meters depth and 40 meters averaging 110.7 g/t Ag from 2 to 42 meters depth as well as scattered anomalous gold intercepts with up to 1.24 g/t Au over 2 meters (see news release dated 6 December, 2010). Phase I drilling tested a 1.5 km by 800 meter anomaly where 852 rock chip samples averaged 30.71 g/t silver. Silver (and gold) mineralization was intersected within multiple phases of breccias which are part of a diatreme breccia complex, strongly fractured rhyolitic volcanics, and brecciated sediments.
Phase II drilling will focus on new target areas defined within a 4 kilometer by 1 kilometer area where two-meter wide surface sampling has identified anomalous outcrops containing up to 2.51̥g/t Au in silicified outcrops and 5.36 g/t Au in structures (assay values range from <5ppb to 5.36 g/t Au) and up to 203 g/t Ag in strongly fractured rhyolite and 8,160 g/t Ag in selected structures (assay values range from <0.2 g/t to 8,160 g/t Ag ). The anomalies occur within the hydrothermal breccia complex and the Mesozoic sedimentary contact zone and overlie strong IP anomalies indicating sulfide mineralization at depths between 100 and 400 meters.
Drilling will test for gold mineralization hosted within underlying favorable sediments in contact with the mineralized breccias. The target model at Tassa bears strong similarities to the nearby Canahuire/ Chucapaca discovery (Goldfields/Buenaventura) 16 kms to the southeast which contains reported resources of 132.7 MT averaging 1.4 g/t Au and 10.8 g/t Ag (6M oz Au and 46M oz Ag) with mineralization remaining open. Surface mapping at Tassa continues to identify additional breccias to the north suggesting the continuation of the hydrothermal breccia complex below the Mesozoic sediments further expanding the target area. Stratigraphic studies suggest that the favorable sediments were not reached in the Phase I drilling; therefore, Phase II drilling will test deeper in the system (up to 500 meters depth) where favorable Mesozoic sedimentary formations which host the Canahuire/Chucapaca mineralization are believed to exist in contact with the breccia complexes. (To view Tassa map with expanded target please refer to: http://www.bearcreekmining.com/i/pdf/TassaOct11-2011.pdf)
Sumi gold project - The Company holds a 100% interest comprised of 1,200 hectares in a Bear Creek discovery located in the Au-Ag Tertiary-age epithermal belt in central Peru. The prospect exhibits alteration and mineralization typical of a volcanic-hosted, high- and low-sulfidation precious metals system. To date, seventy (70) surface rock chip samples have been collected and field work continues. Assay results for the first 48 samples have returned precious metal values including 15.65 g/t gold and 156 g/t silver in a vein- breccia structure over widths of 0.3 to 2.0 meters and 12.1 g/t gold and 102 g/t silver over 2 meter widths in a silicified volcano- sedimentary rock. Twenty-seven (27) of the first forty-eight (48) assay samples received contained highly anomalous gold > 100 ppb. The remaining assay results will be reported in future news releases. As previously reported, the prospect was partially tested in 2003 and 2006 by a third party with limited drilling reportedly intersecting multi-gram gold values over intervals ranging from 2 to over 47 meters and beginning at the surface. The limited drill program totaled approximately 4,600 meters; however, drilling did not test altered targets where ongoing sampling continues to identify anomalous gold in outcrop. Currently, field work indicates that an 800 by 400 meters prospective area remains untested. Furthermore, favorable sedimentary formations have been identified indicating potential for underlying gold mineralization at shallow depth. Plans are to complete detailed surface mapping, sampling and geophysics in preparation for Phase I drilling estimated to commence the first quarter of 2012.
La Yegua copper-gold-molybdenum project (100% BCM) - La Yegua is located 20 kms northeast of the Los Chancas copper/gold/molybdenum deposit in a prolific porphyry copper belt also containing the Las Bambas, Huaquira, Constancia, Tintaya and Antapaccay deposits.
As previously reported, Bear Creek entered into a joint venture agreement with Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (“JOGMEC”) to advance the La Yegua Project into Phase II drilling (see news release dated April 6, 2011). The agreement provides for JOGMEC to earn a 51% interest through investing US$3M over a three year period. Previous limited drilling intersected up to 114 meters with 0.24% copper and 0.03 g/t gold was restricted to a small portion of the altered intrusive complex. Recently, the joint venture completed additional geophysics identifying two high-chargeability anomalies defined by Induced Polarization/ Resistivity (“IP”) surveys. These two targets, measuring 700 x 300 meters and 500 x 300 meters, are located at shallow depths 600 meters east and 1.5 kms south-west of previous drilling and strongly suggest the presence of untested porphyry targets.
Currently, the first coincident IP and surface geochemical copper anomalies is being tested by diamond drilling with the first hole testing an anomaly within an altered quartz-feldspar porphyry intrusive containing anomalous copper (500 ppm) in outcrop. The total drill plan for this phase is approximately 750 meters in 3- 4 drill holes. Geologic mapping outside the main drilling area is underway to identify possible future drilling targets.
Consistent with the Company’s aggressive generative exploration philosophy, several additional prospects in the portfolio are being evaluated for future drilling or acquisition.
The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Andrew Swarthout - 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., President and COO, Christian Rios, P.Geo. Exploration Manager and the CEO, Andrew Swarthout, P.Geo., who serve as the Qualified Persons under the definitions of NI 43-101. 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 Arequipa, 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. 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.