Bear Creek's Santa Ana drilling expands silver mineralization beyond current resource; Positive metallurgical results

    VANCOUVER, Feb. 25 /CNW/ - Bear Creek Mining (TSX Venture: BCM) ("Bear
Creek" or the "Company") is pleased to announce results of 13 additional
diamond drill holes (2,398 meters), eight of which occur outside of the
current resource boundaries (see press release dated 24 January 2008).
Drilling at Santa Ana now totals 24,224 meters in 133 drill holes. Santa Ana
is located 200 kilometers south of the Company's world-class Corani
silver-base metal deposit in southeastern Peru. Highlights of this press
release include:

    -   Drill hole SA-58A intersects 182m @ 42.3 g/t Ag, including 28m
        @ 89.0 g/t Ag and 6m @ 93.7g/t Ag.

    -   Drill hole SA-62 intersects 112m @ 36.9 g/t Ag and 0.8% Zn,
        including 22m @ 95.8g/t Ag and 1.4% Zn.

    -   Two clusters of drill holes extend silver mineralization 350m and
        150m, to the southeast and east respectively, beyond previous
        resource limits.

    -   Santa Ana remains open in all directions and drilling under thin soil
        cover continues to intersect and expand silver mineralization.

    -   Results from key engineering and metallurgical studies continue to
        generate positive results

    Andrew Swarthout, President and CEO of Bear Creek, states "The Santa Ana
silver deposit continues to grow significantly, and patterns are emerging that
may indicate a source for the mineralization which remains open despite having
being drill tested over an area of 1.7 km by 750m. The size of the system
continues to increase significantly and we may have tested a smaller
percentage of the footprint than we previously thought. Engineering and
metallurgical studies continue to indicate that the project will be very
straight-forward to develop but completion of a scoping study is awaiting
additional drilling to delineate the limits of the silver resource in order to
produce a meaningful snap-shot of the project economics. The obvious
opportunities for resource growth are outstanding and we are very pleased with
everything we see in front of us on the development side. With Corani
advancing towards pre-feasibility, Bear Creek now benefits from two,
significant silver deposits."
    New drilling results are as follow. All intercepts are down-hole lengths
and true widths have not been calculated.

    Drill             Incli-   Total              Inter-  (grams
     Hole   Azimuth   nation   Depth  From    To  val (m)   per   Lead  Zinc
      No.  (degrees) (degrees)  (m)    (m)    (m)   DTH    tonne)  (%)   (%)
    SA-58A       90       -60  236.0    52    234    182    42.3   0.2   0.3
    includes                            94    100      6    93.7   0.1   0.2
    and                                142    170     28    89.0   0.4   0.5
    SA-59       300       -60  212.0    36    106     70    35.7   0.2   0.4
                                       128    170     42    33.9   0.1   0.2
    SA-59A      120       -60  190.2    22     34     12    27.0   0.1   0.1
                                        68     78     10    25.2   0.3   0.7
                                        98    100      2   380.0   0.3   0.6
                                       120    126      6    47.0   0.3   0.7
                                       138    154     16    31.4   0.2   0.4
    SA-60       270       -60  172.1     2     26     24    32.4   0.4   0.5
                                        48     54      6    37.0   0.3   0.5
                                        66     82     16    56.0   0.2   0.3
    SA-60A       90       -60  178.5   158 178(TD)    20    31.0   0.5   1.6
    SA-61       300       -60  197.3    52     74     22    27.9   0.2   0.3
                                       130 197(TD)    67    34.5   0.6   0.8
    includes                           148    152      4   122.5   0.5   0.8
    and                                188    190      2   205.0   3.1   2.4
    SA-61A      120       -60  234.4    40    146    106    32.9   0.2   0.4
    includes                           120    126      6   116.7   0.6   1.2
                                       188    234     46       -     -   0.9
    SA-62        90       -70  148.9    26    138    112    36.9   0.5   0.8
    includes                            54     76     22    95.8   0.9   1.4
    SA-62A      270       -60  143.3    74     94     20    28.2   0.2   0.5
    SA-63       270       -80  164.3    64     88     24    17.1   0.1   0.5
                                       130    154     24       -     -   0.6
    SA-64       270       -80  170.3    68    110     42    58.4   0.9   1.1
                                       148    168     20    65.7   0.6   1.0
    includes                            36    168    132       -     -   0.9
    SA-65       300       -60  192.8     3     42     39    42.0   0.2   0.5
    includes                             8     14      6   112.0   0.3   0.4
                                        70     88     18    43.0   0.1   0.3
                                       122    136     14    59.3   0.4   0.5
    SA-66       270       -80  158.1     8     14      6   109.7   0.8   0.4
                                        56    118     62    29.2   0.4   0.9
                                        28    130    102       -     -   0.8
    (Full drill results can be found at To access
    the silver drill hole map directly please refer to Feb 22_08-Santa_Ana.pdf)

    Expansion drilling- Blind, higher-grade silver bearing structures within
a broad, lower-grade halo, typical of the Santa Ana mineralization style, were
intersected in drill hole SA-58A opening up a new, mineralized structural zone
located 150m to the east of the northern limit of the current resource. Also,
new results from drill holes SA-59, 59A, 61 and 61A, when combined with
results from holes SA-55A, 57 and 57A reported in late January, define two new
structural corridors extending 350m to the southeast of the resource limit.

    Internal drilling- One drill is dedicated to drilling five detailed
fences within the current resource. While this aspect of the program is in
early stages, the drill results are confirming continuity. Drilling is filling
in the current model and increasing the confidence on continuity with the
objective of converting material considered by the block model to be waste
into mineralized material. This is expected to reduce the stripping ratio from
the first resource estimate, and move mineralization from inferred to measured
and indicated categories. Potentially very significant, drill hole SA-64
intersected 132 meters of 0.9% Zn. This interval, along with adjacent
intervals of higher-grade zinc than is found in the project in general, is
being investigated as a possible vector towards the source of mineralization
at Santa Ana, as well as the possibility that the zinc mineralization may
provide an additional economic parameter not yet considered for the project.
    The program of grid rock-chip (subcrop) and soil sampling continues in
areas of cover and a new cluster of anomalies with values of 100 g/t Ag in
rocks and 24 g/t Ag in soils has been discovered 250 meters west of the
current limit of the resource. These results support an earlier announced 90
g/t Ag rock anomaly located 150 meters to the north, solidifying a new
untested target and opening potential beneath the entire 2 square kilometers
of post-mineral tuff in the western part of the district. Grid sampling is
also being extended an additional 600 meters south to include a drainage
containing colonial era mine workings which remain untested.
    Two drills continue on the property and an additional drill is being
considered during the second quarter of 2008.

    Santa Ana Engineering

    Several studies have been completed by Vector Engineering to evaluate the
infrastructure and heap leach construction issues at the site in preparation
for a scoping study/PEA. The work demonstrates that the project has a very
favorable heap leach site adjacent to the resource with ample capacity for
future project growth. Importantly, adequate electrical power connected to the
national grid is located within 42 km of the project. Other studies, including
water supply and site access road designs, show that the project is well
suited to straightforward project development. These elements will be
incorporated into a PEA as soon as the silver resource size is defined by the
expansion and in-fill drilling.

    Metallurgical Testing

    The column leach test program has been completed at McClelland Labs of
Sparks Nevada and the results show that the Santa Ana material is well suited
for heap leach recovery methods. In the test program, average silver recovery
of 64.6% was achieved for the conventional column tests. McClelland Labs
estimates that in a conventional, commercial heap leach situation, the overall
long-term silver recovery should exceed 70%. Additionally, one of the tests
used a pulp-agglomeration heap leach method for silver recovery and it showed
an overall silver recovery of 76.7%. In the pulp-agglomeration test, a higher
grade portion of the ore was ground and then leached in an agitation vessel
for 48 hours. The solid residue from the agitation leach was then combined
with crushed lower grade material and then placed in a column where a standard
column leach test was performed.
    The Company is very pleased with the column test results and will be
continuing to test the Santa Ana material to improve the project economics.
The primary focus of the metallurgical optimization tests will be to establish
the most economic crush size for the heap leach. The recent tests utilized a
nominal 3/4 inch crush size and further testing will be performed to see if
coarser crush sizes yield similar silver recovery in order to optimize project
    Additionally, the Company will begin investigating process recovery
options for the zinc and lead found within portions the Santa Ana silver
deposit. In the recent resource calculation (see Press Release January 24,
2008), in addition to the large silver resource, the project contains 246
million pounds of zinc (29.8 Mt @ 0.53% Zn) in the Indicated category and 456
million pounds of zinc (61.0 Mt @ 0.49% Zn) in the Inferred category. The
drilling indicates that there may be several large discrete higher-grade zinc
pods that potentially lend themselves to selective mining. This distribution
of the zinc may enhance the economics of treating base metals as an "add-on"
opportunity without affecting the favorable silver recovery of a planned
low-cost, heap leach silver mine.
    In other news, Bear Creek has evaluated the results of drilling from its
Don Marcelo gold prospect located in northern Peru. While wide-spread,
anomalous gold was confirmed in an epithermal system, the results did not meet
the objectives of the Company, and the agreement has been terminated.

    The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy
    or accuracy of this release.

    For further information, please visit the Company's website

    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 David Volkert, P.Geo., Bear Creek's Vice President of
Exploration and/or Marc Leduc, P. Eng., Vice President of Technical Services
and the President and 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 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.
    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. (*)Any reference to the potential quantity & grade
of mineralization at Corani is conceptual in nature, there has been
insufficient exploration to define a mineral resource on the property and it
is uncertain if further exploration will result in discovery of a mineral
resource on the property. 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.

For further information:

For further information: Andrew Swarthout - President and CEO, or
Patrick De Witt - Investor Relations, Phone: (604) 685-6269, Direct: (604)
628-1111, E-mail:

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