VANCOUVER, Mar. 15, 2010 (Canada NewsWire Group) -- /CNW/ -- Bear Creek Mining Corporation (TSX Venture: BCM) ("Bear Creek" or the "Company") is very pleased to provide the following update on its two advanced development projects, Santa Ana and Corani as well as on two anticipated drill programs on new precious metal targets.
Santa Ana- Two drills are being deployed this week to complete step-out, resource in-fill, geotechnical, and leach pad condemnation drilling. A third drill is planned for the end of March. The drill program is designed to convert resources into reserves and evaluate resource expansion opportunities in advance of the Feasibility Study expected to be completed mid-year. Concurrently, final column leach testing is in progress at McClelland Laboratories to analyze crush-size requirements versus silver recovery for optimization of operating costs for the study. Base-line data continues to be collected for submission of final permits immediately following completion of the Feasibility Study. Surface land acquisition is being prepared in conjunction with accelerated implementation of social programs.
Corani- Ten metallurgical drill holes have been completed designed to provide final test sample composites specifically targeted at the first five years of mine production. This metallurgical test work, which includes detailed crushing and grinding tests as well as flotation optimization tests, constitutes the final technical component for the Feasibility Study expected to be completed mid-year 2011. Concurrently, base-line data collection continues for the submission of final permits following completion of the Feasibility Study. Surface rights acquisition of necessary mine site and site infrastructure is expected to be completed mid-year 2010.
EXPLORATION PROJECT UPDATES
Tassa- The Company's 100% held Tassa silver-gold prospect is undergoing exploration permitting with Phase I drilling expected to begin in late April/early May. Tassa is located approximately 16 kms from Chucapaca, currently under exploration by the Goldfields - Buenaventura joint venture where drilling has intercepted up to 127 meters averaging 8.55 g/t gold in a similar geologic setting and mineralization reportedly remains open. Tassa is similar in size (approximately 2 kms long by 1 km wide by 200m vertical), geochemistry, silver leaching amenability and geologic setting to the Company's Santa Ana deposit currently being advanced in a feasibility study. However, unlike Santa Ana, Tassa has a gold component which also responds well to leaching (see News Release dated 7 January 2010). Phase I drilling will involve approximately 2,000 meters in ten drill holes with Phase II to immediately follow pending favorable results.
Campanario- Permitting is also being completed for Phase I drilling on the Company's untested mesothermal gold-silver prospect located within the prolific belt containing the Alto Chicama/Lagunas Norte, Santa Rosa, and La Arena gold deposits southeast of Trujillo, Peru. Campanario focuses on a Mesozoic sedimentary sequence intruded by strongly altered Tertiary quartz porphyry sills, dikes and small stocks with both sediments and intrusives exhibiting anomalous gold in sub-horizontal and sub-vertical quartz stock work vein zones (see News Release dated 7 January 2010). The prospect occupies a hill indicating potential for an outcropping gold ore body and very low stripping ratios. Geophysics is planned for April to define targets under areas of poor outcrops with Phase I drilling of approximately 2,000 meters in ten drill holes commencing in May/June to evaluate the continuity of gold mineralization vertically and laterally from the known mine workings and test geophysical targets.
Consistent with the Company's aggressive generative exploration philosophy, several additional prospects in the portfolio are being evaluated for future drilling or acquisition.
A map showing project locations is available on the Company's website (www.bearcreekmining.com).
About Bear Creek:
Bear Creek is an exploration and development company with two advanced multi hundred million ounce silver deposits in Peru. The Company has completed a prefeasibility study on its Corani silver-lead-zinc deposit placing 258 million ounces of silver into reserves and has initiated a feasibility study on its Santa Ana silver deposit anticipated to be completed in mid-2010. Both projects are 100% owned by Bear Creek and are expected to provide two important development opportunities for the aggregate production of approximately 15 million ounces silver per year, plus base metals credits. Additionally, the Company maintains an aggressive gold-focused exploration program.
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 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., Chief Operating Office, Christian Rios, P. Geo., Manager of Exploration and the President and CEO, Andrew Swarthout, P. Geo., who serve as the Qualified Persons under the definitions of NI 43-101.
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. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. 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.