Bear Creek Mining has concluded optimization studies at its Corani Silver-Lead-Zinc deposit resulting in an updated Feasibility Study. The optimization studies, involving three engineering firms led by Global Resource Engineering of Denver, Colorado, have been underway for over six months and trade-off studies have identified several design modifications enhancing the project performance that will now be carried forward into the detailed engineering. The project optimizations do not require a new Environmental and Social Impact study and it is expected that the Corani project can be moved forward with modifications to the ESIA approved in September 2013. For more information refer to the news release page.
The Santa Ana silver project is located 120 kilometers southeast of the city of Puno, Department of Puno, Peru and encompasses 5,400 hectares of mineral concessions. After acquiring the Santa Ana project in 2004, the Company conducted surface exploration and drilling programs and completed various economic studies and community engagement initiatives, including an ESIA and a feasibility study on the Santa Ana project that was completed in January 2011.
In 2007, a Supreme Decree was issued by the Government of Peru granting the Company the right to acquire title to and operate within the mineral concessions covering the Santa Ana project, a requirement stemming from the project's location within the 50 km border zone of Peru. In June 2011 however, the Company was notified that the Peruvian Government had issued a subsequent Supreme Decree that revoked the Company's right to operate the Santa Ana project, but did not specifically revoke the Company's title to the concessions, despite revoking any rights under them. Accordingly, no further development of the Santa Ana project has been conducted since 2011.
The Company is currently pursuing an international arbitration proceeding against the Republic of Peru under the Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement ("TPA") before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington D.C. In the arbitration proceeding, Bear Creek seeks full reparation resulting from, among other things, the expropriation of the Santa Ana project and Peru's violations of the TPA and international law.