Bear Creek announces the acquisition of two new precious metals exploration targets, Peru

VANCOUVER, March 18, 2013 /CNW/ - Bear Creek Mining (TSXV: BCM)/(BVL:BCM) ("Bear Creek" or the "Company") is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Carito and Maria Jose gold targets http://www.bearcreekmining.com/s/caritogold.asp.

The Company also reports that it is on schedule for the Corani public audiences, expected to occur in April, which is considered to be the most important public hearings required for the approval of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment ("ESIA") submitted in December 2012 (see news release dated 11 December, 2012).

Andrew Swarthout, Chief Executive Officer, states "We are excited to have made these new acquisitions which, in conjunction with the Sumi Phase I drilling results (see news release dated 13 March 2013), continue to advance our generative exploration efforts focusing on precious metals.  These programs are very cost effective, high-reward activities that are well within the capacity of our treasury as we move Corani through the permitting process. The projects offer potential for high-grade, gold veins and near-surface, disseminated gold mineralization in areas with excellent infrastructure and good community relations. We anticipate drilling to commence on both projects in the second half of 2013, pending permit approvals."

Carito Gold Prospect - Carito is located in northern Peru within the prolific Antamina - Magistral thrust fault belt, Ancash Department. The district's potential was unrecognized until recently when prospectors discovered high-grade gold mineralization beneath thin coluvial cover.  The Carito prospect is an undrilled Au system resembling the La Arena deposit, a robust open pit gold mine with significant potential for underlying, porphyry-style copper and gold mineralization currently under exploration.

Two styles of mineralization are present at Carito; a disseminated gold epithermal system hosted within sedimentary rocks and a copper - gold porphyry system. Gold mineralization is controlled by fractured and crackle-brecciated quartzites and sandstones of the Cretaceous Chimu formation. The Chimu formation is a well-known host for disseminated gold deposits in northern Peru (La Arena, Lagunas Norte, Santa Rosa). The sedimentary unit is intruded by at least two pervasively altered porphyries. Importantly, hydrothermal breccias and a diatreme breccia have been identified which indicate abundant sources for mineralizing, hydrothermal fluids. Values derived from one-hundred-nineteen (119) rock chip samples from the quartzites / sandstones, and intrusives range from trace to 22.1 g/t gold. Eighty-three (83) samples from the above one-hundred-nineteen samples contain greater than 50 ppb gold. Associated favorable trace elements include strongly anomalous Ag, As, Hg, Sb and W. The two altered intrusives observed to date exhibit values up to 0.23 g/t gold, indicating a possible target for a mineralized Cu-Au porphyry at depth.

Under the option agreement with a private Peruvian third party, Bear Creek may acquire 100% of Carito by making escalating payments totaling US$7,475,000 million over 5 years. A royalty of 2% NSR exists that can be entirely purchased for US$6 million if the deposit is less than 3 million gold equivalent ounces, or the royalty can be reduced for US$6 million to 1% NSR if the deposit contains greater than 3 million gold equivalent ounces, as defined in a feasibility study.

The Maria Jose Prospect - Maria Jose is located in the Department of Ancash, 140 kms NNW of Lima. The project is comprised of Cretaceous to Paleocene diorites and granitoids of the Coastal Batholith hosting a system of east-west to northeast trending, 45° to steeply north dipping, mesothermal quartz veins and shear zones containing high gold grade values.  Similarly to Caritos, the Maria Jose mineralization was only recently exposed by prospectors.  At surface, the three main east-west veins can be traced for approximately 400 meters; however, shallow cover is prevalent in the district and the possibility of much longer strike lengths will be investigated by shallow trenching and sampling. The observed veins range in thickness from 0.25 meters to 1.7 meters with average widths of ~1 meter. Northeast trending veins appear to be younger in age with narrower widths ranging from 0.2 to 0.5 meters exhibiting steeply northwest dips.   Initial mapping and channel sampling (16 samples) of several veins yielded values ranging from 2.2 g/t to 233 g/t gold in the east-west trending vein system  and from 4 g/t to 22 g/t gold in the northeast system over widths from 0.2 meters to 0.4 meters. The full widths will be exposed and sampled in the current field program. Based upon preliminary field work to date, the mesothermal veins are consistently gold bearing and are indicated to have excellent vertical continuity for at least 400 meters as evidenced by prospect pits and scattered outcrops separated by thin soil cover.

A possible Cu-Au-Mo porphyry target has also been identified which focuses on a 300 meters x 500 meters area of strongly altered intrusive rock (potassic alteration superimposed by propylitic alteration). This target is also surrounded by thin soil cover and its full extent is unknown, pending additional mapping and trenching.   Preliminary surface sampling yielded highly anomalous values ranging from 90 ppm to 1030 ppm copper, 10 ppb to 200 ppb gold, and 1 ppm to 136 ppm molybdenum, indicating that an untested porphyry-style deposit may exist at shallow to medium depths.

The field program will commence next month and include mapping, trenching, and geophysics in preparation for Phase I drilling anticipated in the fourth quarter of 2013. Drilling will define the various veins for grade continuity laterally and at depths up to 300 meters.  In addition, drilling may test the potential of the Cu-Au-Mo target pending further field work.

Under the option agreement with a private Peruvian third party, Bear Creek Mining may acquire 100% of Maria Jose (3,500 hectares) by making escalating payments totaling US$4 million over 4 years.  The initial option payment is US$300,000 and the second payment of US$250,000 is due in 18 months, allowing the Company sufficient time to complete initial drill testing to define the potential in advance of larger, balloon payments.  An additional payment of US$2 million must be made if the deposit is greater than 1 million ounces gold in resources as defined by NI 43-101 technical report. There are no royalty provisions under the agreement.

Consistent with the Company's aggressive generative exploration philosophy, several additional prospects in the portfolio are being evaluated for future acquisition or drilling.

"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."

Regulatory footnotes:

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  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.

SOURCE: Bear Creek Mining Corporation

For further information:

Andrew Swarthout - CEO, or Lisa May - Investor Relations
Phone: 604-685-6269   Direct: 604-628-1111
E-mail: info@bearcreekmining.com
For further information, please visit the Company's website (www.bearcreekmining.com)