Vancouver, B.C. - Bear Creek Mining (TSX Venture: BCM / BVL: BCM) (“Bear Creek” or the “Company”) reports that the Peruvian government has issued a new resolution imposing further measures in addition to those actions reported by the Company in its news release dated May 24, 2011 . By a resolution issued by the Ministry of Energy and Mines, the Santa Ana Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (“ESIA”) process has been suspended for a term of twelve months to May 2012 with the stated objective of reinstating normal conditions in the region and allowing for the Company to continue with its ESIA approval procedure in a less politically charged climate. The resolution states that its purpose is to create the conditions necessary for the Company to continue to “increase its relationship with the authorities, communities and adjacent villages”. The Company believes that the temporary suspension of the Santa Ana ESIA process is based on weak legal grounds in that the action is based upon recent regional protests as opposed to the technical merits or procedures relating to its ESIA submission. The Company is assessing its legal alternatives, including an appeal to the Consejo de Mineria which is the legislative body charged with overseeing MEM procedures and rulings.
The Company has followed all required processes to earn approvals in the ESIA process and the ESIA is based on a project design that takes into account the highest quality of environmental safeguards and standards as well as strong commitments to social sustainability and benefits to local communities including job training, agricultural, educational and health improvement programs. The Santa Ana project will provide 1,000 direct jobs, 1,500 indirect jobs, and provide over US$330 million in royalties and taxes for the Peruvian people and our surrounding communities.
Mr. Andrew Swarthout, Bear Creek CEO, stated “We continue to believe that these protests and government responses are the result of the pre-election political climate. We remain confident that the protests will be successfully resolved allowing companies like Bear Creek to return to the normal, well-established permitting and other procedures under which all mining companies in Peru have operated for decades. I emphasize again that Bear Creek has received strong local community support for our Santa Ana project as demonstrated by the formal public hearing successfully completed in our local community at Santa Ana in February, 2011 in which the community officially ratified its strong support for the Santa Ana mine development. It is important to recognize that the protests in southern Puno are occurring distant from the Santa Ana project and involve participants far removed from the communities in which we work. We will continue, as always, to work with local and federal authorities to assist in resolving the regional issues even as we pursue our legal alternatives.”
About Bear Creek:
Bear Creek is focused in Peru, a mineral-rich nation with a favorable investment climate. The Company has recently completed a Pre-Feasibility Study on its Corani Project and a Feasibility Study on its Santa Ana Project, which together estimate measured and indicated resources in excess of 500 million ounces of silver of which over 320 million ounces are in proven and probable reserves providing near-term production potential and excellent leverage to silver prices. The Feasibility Study for Santa Ana defines a low-cost “pure silver” mine producing 5 million ounces annually in the first six years of an estimated 11-year mine life. The Pre-Feasibility Study for the flagship Corani Project estimates average annual production of 10 million ounces for the first six years of an estimated 27-year mine life, with low cash costs and fast payback of capital costs. Santa Ana is proceeding towards permitting and construction while Corani is undergoing a Feasibility Study.
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.