Vancouver, B.C. - Bear Creek Mining (TSX Venture: BCM / BVL: BCM) (“Bear Creek” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide updates on its exploration programs in Peru. The Company maintains an aggressive generative exploration program while advancing the development of two new major silver mines, Santa Ana and Corani. The four prospects described in this update range from an advanced Phase II drilling program at Tassa to new acquisitions and discoveries. (To view location map of new projects please refer to: http://www.bearcreekmining.com/i/pdf/CurrrentProjectsMapApril5th-2011.pdf)
Andrew Swarthout, CEO of Bear Creek, states “We are very pleased to be advancing our exploration portfolios with two new prospects while continuing fast track development at our two major mines where first silver production is expected next year. Bear Creek has a strong discovery history and is fortunate to have the funding and exploration expertise to ramp up strong exploration and drilling campaigns in 2011 on four different prospects. Our exploration team discovered our two mines and we remain committed towards discovering the next precious metals deposit.”
Tassa silver-gold (100% BCM) - Phase II drilling is scheduled to commence in second quarter of 2011 and will follow up on numerous mineralized intercepts from Phase I including up to 60 meters averaging 224.2 g/t Ag from 24 to 84 meters depth (see news release dated 12/6/2010) 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.
Tassa is located approximately 160 kilometers northwest and 230 kilometers south of the Company’s Santa Ana and Corani silver deposits respectively. The prospect is also located 16 kms north-west from the Canahuire deposit/ Chucapaca district, currently under exploration by the Goldfields - Buenaventura joint venture where reported resources are 83.7 MT averaging 1.9 g/t Au and 8.2 g/t Ag with mineralization remaining open. 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 contained within multiple phases of breccias, strongly fractured rhyolitic volcanics, and brecciated sediments. Subsequently surface mapping has identified breccia complexes 1 km further to the north suggesting the continuation of the hydrothermal breccia complex below the Mesozoic sediments and expanding the target area by two-fold. In addition, new surface geochemistry sampling has identified a 1.04 g/t gold and 0.55% copper anomaly in quartz-sulfide veinlets which cut the rhyolitic volcanics indicating that gold mineralization is originating from an underlying untested source. 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 450 meters depth) where favorable sedimentary formations which host the nearby Chucapaca mineralization are believed to exist in contact with the breccia complexes. Future drilling will also focus on new targets adjacent to the breccias complexes located over the northernmost three by two kms of the concessions where geologic mapping and sampling have again expanded the target area. The Phase II program will consist of approximately 3,000 meters in eight (8) drill holes. (To view Tassa map with expanded target please refer to: http://www.bearcreekmining.com/i/pdf/Tassa_Pre_Realease_February2011.pdf)
Alejandra gold project - The Company has recently entered into an option agreement with a Peruvian third party to acquire 1,000 hectares in northern Peru in a volcanogenic massive sulfide (“VMS”) complex hosting gold and base metal mineralization. The option agreement allows the Company to acquire a 100% interest for payments totaling US$2.64 M over five years with the initial payment being US$15,000. Alejandra is located within the same volcanic complex as the Tambo Grande VMS deposit, located 30 kms to the south-west, which hosts 1.9M ounces gold and 34M ounces silver averaging 3.5 g/t Au and 64 g/t Ag (oxide deposit) and 191 MT averaging 1.3% Cu, 1.2% Zn, 0.6 g/t Au and 23 g/t Ag (sulfide deposits) as reported by Manhattan Minerals in 2002. Initial geologic mapping and surface sampling defines a target area 4 by 1.5 kms with four styles of mineralization typically associated with VMS ore bodies: mantos, veins, stockwork and breccia zones. The mantos are composed of sub-horizontal lenses hosted in marine volcaniclastic rocks with 0.5 to 1.5 mts width and values up to 3.6 g/t gold, 28.9 g/t silver and 0.83% Zn. Veins are comprised of at least two structures with an approximately length of 2 km, 0.2 to 2.0 mts wide containing values up to 9.6 g/t gold, 61.1 g/t silver, 0.11% copper, 0.19% lead and 0.20% zinc. The stockwork zone, characterized by quartz-pyrite veining with sericitic halos, is located in a pervasively altered volcanic rock containing values up to 0.13 g/t gold, 25.6 g/t silver and 0.13% lead with highly anomalous As, Ba, Cu, Hg, Sb. A hydrothermal breccia discovered by trenching through shallow soil cover contains up to 0.76 g/t gold, 29.8 g/t silver and 0.30% lead. Importantly, over 60% of the area is covered with thin soil and the more favorable Ereo Formation hosting the large VMS deposits at Tambo Grande underlie the mineralized outcrops at Alejandra at depths likely less than 200 meters. A geophysical program will be designed to define targets buried under shallow soil cover and additional geologic mapping will be done to better delineate targets for Phase I drilling program comprised of 1,500 meters in 10 drill holes to commence in second half of 2011. Community relations with local populations are favorable at Alejandra.
Sumi gold project - The Company holds a 100% interest comprised of 1,200 hectares in a discovery located in the Au-Ag Tertiary-age epithermal belt in central Peru where alteration and mineralization in the area is typical of a volcanic-hosted, high- sulfidation system. To date, eleven (11) preliminary surface rock chip samples have returned precious metal values including 5 g/t gold and 156 g/t silver in a vein- breccia structure with 0.3 to 2.0 meters width and 0.57 g/t gold and 82.6 g/t silver in a vuggy silica altered volcanic rock. Eight of the eleven samples contained highly anomalous gold > 100 ppb. The prospect was partially tested in 2003 and 2006 by a third party with limited drilling reportedly intersecting multi-gram gold over intervals ranging from 2 to over 47 meters beginning at the surface. The program totaled approximately 4,600 meters but did not test outcrop areas where BCM sampling has yielded 5 g/t Au. Bear Creek’s initial work indicates that a large prospective area remains untested, including favorable sedimentary Mesozoic formations similar to Tassa/Chucapaca. Plans are to complete detailed surface mapping and sampling in preparation for Phase I drilling estimated to commence in the second half of 2011.
La Yegua copper-gold-molybdenum project (100% BCM) - La Yegua is located 20 kms northeast of the 200 MT Los Chancas copper/gold/moly deposit in a prolific porphyry copper belt that also contains the Las Bambas, Huaquira, Constancia, Tintaya and Antapaccay mines. Bear Creek has 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. The agreement provides for JOGMEC to earn a 51% interest through investing US$3M over a three year period. Previous drilling, which 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 before being terminated prior to completion. Recent work performed under the new JV agreement has identified at least two high-chargeability anomalies defined by Induced Polarization/ Resistivity 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. One anomaly is associated with a potassic- propylitic altered quartz-feldspar porphyry intrusive with anomalous copper (500 ppm). Geologic mapping and re-logging of drill core is being performed prior to the decision to commence Phase II drilling in second quarter of 2011.
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.