Vancouver, B.C. - Bear Creek Mining (TSX Venture: BCM / BVL: BCM) (“Bear Creek” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that the Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mines (“MEM”) has approved the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (“ESIA”) for the Corani silver- lead-zinc project located in southern Peru.
Corani represents a rare asset class containing 270 million ounces of silver and 4.8 billion pounds of combined lead and zinc which is forecasted to produce over 13 million ounces of silver/year at a negative cost of $0.45 per ounce of silver, net of by-product credits, for the first 5 years of a 22 year mine life. Subsequent steps in the advancement of the Corani project are intended to include detailed engineering followed by construction permits flowing from the ESIA.
Andrew Swarthout, Bear Creek’s CEO, states that “We sincerely appreciate the strong support from the local communities and the various Peruvian Ministries, including MEM, during the approval process. We also express our gratitude to the Peruvian central government for establishing investments in infrastructure along side of our life-of-mine community investment commitments. Bear Creek is excited to move this important project forward towards development.”
Mr. Swarthout continues “We are also encouraged by recent conversations with the Peruvian government towards the resolution of issues regarding the Santa Ana silver project, which remains under the conditions of the Supreme Decree issued in June 2011. The successful resolution of these issues and returning Bear Creek’s right to operate Santa Ana is critical to the Company’s ability to raise financing for the construction of Corani. Based upon the successful acquisition of the social license through long-term community investment agreements at Corani, we strongly believe that the model has been demonstrated that will establish social license at Santa Ana. We look forward to working with the government and local communities in reaching a resolution thereby avoiding ongoing and future litigation while providing the opportunity for advancing Santa Ana and providing much needed employment, investment, and revenues in those local communities.”
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.
Lisa May - Investor Relations
For further information, please visit the Company’s website (www.bearcreekmining.com)
Cautionary Note regarding Technical and Scientific Disclosure and Forward-Looking Statements:
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 Andrew Swarthout, P.Geo., CEO, who serves as the Qualified Person under the definitions of NI 43-101. The block model estimate, mine design and schedules were 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 mineral reserves and resources are consistent with the CIM Best Practices Guidelines. The method used in the resource calculation is equivalent to the method used in the resource calculation shown in our August 23, 2006 Press Release. 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 metal markets in August 2011.
Assumptions used in the mineral reserve and FS model by IMC are: Silver Price=$18.00/oz; Zinc Price=$0.85/lb; Lead Price=$0.85/lb; Mixed Sulfide Material Silver Recovery is fixed at 62% to lead con and an additional14% to the zinc con when zinc head grade is greater than 0.7%, 10.4% Ag recovery when zinc head grade is from 0.7% to 0.5%, 6.3% recovery of silver to the zinc con when zinc head grade is from 0.5% to 0.3% and no silver recovery to the zinc con when zinc head grades are less than 0.3%. Zinc Recovery=67.5% to zinc con when the zinc head grade is greater than 0.7%, 50% Zn recovery when zinc head grade is from 0.7% to 0.5%, 30% recovery of zinc to the zinc con when zinc head grade is from 0.5% to 0.3% and no zinc recovery to the zinc con when zinc head grades are less than 0.3%. Lead Recovery=75% to lead con. For Transitional Material Silver Recovery= 38.5%+.2*Ag Grade (g/t) (Maximum 70% recovery) to lead con and 0% to the zinc con, Zinc Recovery= 0% to zinc con and Lead Recovery= 38%+10.9*Lead Grade (%) (Maximum 65% recovery) to lead con. Average smelter charges including Treatment Charges and Refining Charges (“TCRC”) and metal deducts against saleable metal: Silver= $1.52 per ounce; Zinc= $0.62 per pound; Lead= $0.41 per pound; Mining Costs per tonne= $1.34; Process cost per tonne= $8.00; G&A per processed tonne= $1.20; Pit Slopes= 42 degrees in mineralized tuff and 46 degrees in post-mineralized tuff. The resulting mineral reserve cutoff is $10.54/tonne ore NSR. The mineral reserves are contained within a practical mining plan that utilized the ‘floating-cone” method as an initial guide for design. Mineral reserves are established as follows:
|Mineral Reserves, $10.54 NSR cut-off|
|Contained Metal||Equivalent Ounces|
|Category||Ktonnes||Silver||Lead||Zinc||Silver||Lead||Zinc||Eq. Silver||Eq. Silver|
|Gm/t||%||%||Million Ozs||Million Lbs||Million Lbs||Million Ozs||Gm/t|
|Proven + Probable||156,130||53.8||0.90||0.49||270.0||3,113.0||1,697.6||497.2||99.1|
The mineral resource portion of the project is contained in a larger pit than the FS design pit, which was a floating cone using the following input assumptions: Silver Price=$30.00/oz; Zinc Price=$1.00/lb; Lead Price=$1.00/lb; Mixed oxide material that was given 0% recovery for the reserves was assumed to have an 85% recovery of silver, all other recoveries remained the same. The Mineral Resource cut-off was $9.20/tonne which represents the internal process cutoff. All metallurgical material types were included in the resource.
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.
The FS was prepared by a team of independent engineering consultants. The mining and block model portion was prepared by Independent Mining Consultants of Tucson Arizona, John Marek, PE acting as QP. The process plant design was prepared by M3 Engineering, Dan Neff, PE acting as QP. Metallurgy and Process design criteria developed by Blue Coast Metallurgy Ltd. Chris Martin, CEng acting as QP. And geotechnical, environmental, infrastructure, waste stockpile and tailings designs were prepared by Global Resource Engineering Ltd., Chris Chapman, PE acting as the QP. Each of these individuals has read and approves the respective scientific and technical disclosure contained in this news release. Silver Equivalency calculation represents the contained equivalent silver ounces contained in the ground and is based on the resource metal prices assumptions of $18.00/oz Ag, 0.85/lb Pb and 0.85/lb Zn and recoveries to concentrate of 64.2% for silver and 71.1% for lead and 51.6% for zinc. The calculation does not take into account the net smelter payment terms for the different metals in the two separate concentrates. The resulting equivalency is 1 oz Ag = 19.1 lb Pb and 1 oz Ag = 26.3 lb Zn.
Total cash cost per ounce of silver is calculated in accordance with a standard approved by The Silver Institute, a nonprofit international association that draws its membership from across the breadth of the silver industry. Adoption of the standard is voluntary and the cost measures presented may not be comparable to other similarly titled measures of other companies. Total cash cost includes mine site operating costs such as mining, processing, administration, and treatment and refining charges, but is exclusive of amortization, reclamation, capital, exploration costs and taxes on income. Total cash costs are reduced by lead and zinc by-product revenues, and then divided by silver ounces sold to arrive at total cash cost of per ounce of silver, net of by-product revenues. Previously, the Company included reclamation costs as a component of its total cash cost per ounce of silver.
The Company has elected to follow the Silver Institute’s cash cost standard, and has therefore excluded reclamation costs from its calculation of total cash cost per ounce of silver.
This document contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation and “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. This information and these statements, referred to herein as “forward-looking statements” are made as of the date of this news release or as of the date of the effective date of information described in this news release, as applicable. Forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance and reflect current estimates, predictions, expectations or beliefs regarding future events and include, without limitation, statements with respect to: (i) the planned approval and timing of the ESIA; (ii) the planned development of the Corani and Santa Ana projects, including the timing thereof. Any statements that express or involve discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance (often, but not always, using words or phrases such as “expects”, “anticipates”, “plans”, “projects”, “estimates”, “envisages”, “assumes”, “intends”, “strategy”, “goals”, “objectives” or variations thereof or stating that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved, or the negative of any of these terms and similar expressions) are not statements of historical fact and may be forward-looking statements.
All forward-looking statements are based on the Company’s or its consultants’ current beliefs as well as various assumptions made by and information currently available to them. These assumptions include, without limitation: (i) the presence of and continuity of metals at the project at modeled grades; (ii) the capacities of various machinery and equipment; (iii) the availability of personnel, machinery and equipment at estimated prices; (iv) exchange rates; (v) metals and minerals sales prices; (vi) appropriate discount rates; (vii) tax rates and royalty rates applicable to the proposed mining operation; (viii) financing structure and costs; (ix) anticipated mining losses and dilution; (x) metals recovery rates, (xi) reasonable contingency requirements; and (xiii) receipt of regulatory approvals on acceptable terms and in the timeframes expected by the Company, including, without limitation, in relation to the ESIA. Although management considers these assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to it, they may prove to be incorrect. Many forward-looking statements are made assuming the correctness of other forward looking statements, such as statements of net present value and internal rate of return, which are based on most of the other forward-looking statements and assumptions herein. The cost information is also prepared using current values, but the time for incurring the costs will be in the future and it is assumed costs will remain stable over the relevant period.
By their very nature, forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, and risks exist that estimates, forecasts, projections and other forward-looking statements will not be achieved or that assumptions do not reflect future experience. We caution readers not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements as a number of important factors could cause the actual outcomes to differ materially from the beliefs, plans, objectives, expectations, anticipations, estimates assumptions and intentions expressed in such forward-looking statements. These risk factors may be generally stated as the risk that the assumptions and estimates expressed above do not occur, but specifically include, without limitation, risks relating to variations in the mineral content within the material identified as mineral reserves and mineral resources from that predicted; variations in rates of recovery and extraction; developments in world metals and minerals markets; risks relating to fluctuations in the Canadian dollar relative to other currencies; increases in the estimated capital and operating costs or unanticipated costs; difficulties attracting the necessary work force; increases in financing costs or adverse changes to global market conditions and the terms of available financing, if any; tax rates or royalties being greater than assumed; changes in development or mining plans due to changes in logistical, technical or other factors, changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; risks relating timing and to receipt of regulatory approvals; adverse changes to government approval processes; the effects of competition in the markets in which the Company operates; operational and infrastructure risks; and the additional risks described in the Company’s Annual Information Form, annual financial statements and management’s discussion and analysis for the year ended December 31, 2012 and in the feasibility study entitled “Corani Project, Form 43-101F1 Technical Report, Feasibility Study” filed by the Company on December 22, 2011 filed on the SEDAR website in Canada (available at www.sedar.com). The foregoing list of factors that may affect future results is not exhaustive.
When relying on our forward-looking statements, investors and others should carefully consider the foregoing factors and other uncertainties and potential events. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time by the Company or on behalf of the Company, except as required by law.