Vancouver, B.C. - Bear Creek Mining (TSX Venture: BCM / BVL: BCM) (“Bear Creek” or the “Company”) announces that the judge has dismissed the civil suit lodged in the Peruvian courts by the previous government of Peru wherein it was alleged that Bear Creek had improperly acquired the mineral concessions at the Santa Ana silver deposit. The Company has been informed that the Ministry of Energy and Mines has appealed the judge’s decision to the next level of court, namely the Peruvian Superior Court.
The Company’s Peruvian counsel believe that the court’s current ruling is pivotal to Bear Creek’s ongoing legal standing on this matter, pending the outcome of the appeal. With respect to the Amparo action wherein the Company challenges the constitutionality of the Supreme Decree issued in 2011 rescinding the Company’s rights to operate the Santa Ana Project while leaving Bear Creek title to the concessions, the courts will set a hearing to present arguments. The Amparo hearing is expected during the first half of 2013. Meanwhile, the current civil case ruling is expected to provide further motivation for the Peruvian government to reach a negotiated settlement regarding Santa Ana, which has always been the Company’s desired outcome.
Importantly, the Company has approximately US $70M in cash and expenditures have decreased significantly following the submission of the Corani Environmental and Social Impact Assessment in December 2012, allowing sufficient funding to continue all of Bear Creek’s planned activities well into 2014 without jeopardizing development timelines. Further financing is not envisioned until the decision is made to commence construction of Corani. If necessary, additional measures can be taken to preserve cash beyond 2014.
Santa Ana Silver Deposit - Santa Ana, which has proven and probable mineral reserves containing 63.2M ounces of silver in a low CapEx, heap leach deposit as defined by a Feasibility Study dated October 21, 2010 (see further details below under “Regulatory footnotes”), remains under the conditions of the Supreme Decree issued in June 2011. The Company remains committed towards a negotiated settlement to resolve the issue and reinitiate the permitting process in 2013. While there has been progress in reaching a resolution, particularly with respect to even broader local community support in surrounding, indirectly affected populations, the Company continues to vigorously pursue legal remedies in order to protect its rights under Peruvian law and the Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement.
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.
All scientific and technical information contained in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Marc Leduc, P. Eng., President and COO and Andrew Swarthout, P.Geo., the Chief Executive Officer of the Company, who serve as the “qualified persons” within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101 (“NI 43-101”). The block model estimate, mine design and schedules for the Santa Ana Feasibility Study were prepared by Independent Mining Consultants of Tucson Arizona, with John Marek, P.E. acting as the independent qualified person under NI 43-101. Additionally, the methods used in determining and reporting the mineral reserves and resources in the Feasibility Study are consistent with the CIM Best Practices Guidelines.
Following is a table setting forth mineral reserve estimates from the Santa Ana Feasibility Study announced on October 7, 2010:
Bear Creek Mining, Santa Ana Project Silver Zone
October 7, 2010 Mineral Reserves, Cutoff Grade, Variable 27 to 24 g/t Silver by Year
Please refer to the Company’s news release dated October 7, 2010 for further details of the Santa Ana feasibility study, as well as the feasibility study itself filed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) on October 21, 2010.
Certain disclosure in this release, including management’s assessment of Bear Creek’s plans and projects, including statements relating to the potential outcome of the legal actions in relation to the Santa Ana project, constitute forward-looking information and statements under applicable securities laws. Forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks, uncertainties and other factors relating to Bear Creek’s operation as a mineral exploration company, including the risks that the judge’s ruling will be overturned on appeal, and/or that the Company’s challenge to the 2011 Supreme Decree or other efforts to protect the Company’s interests in the Santa Ana project will be unsuccessful. Such risks may cause future results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements or information. Additional 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.