saucy doubts and fears

Mining PRs and the Ottotrans™, Part 93

Our occasional series gets to number ninety-three and today we’re doing the NR out of Bear Creek Mining (BCM.v) this morning. As is our wont, we take the long thing (889 words), and crunch it down to the small thing (three short lines).

This is what they wrote:

Bear Creek Mining provides an update on corporate activities

VANCOUVER , Jan. 27, 2016
/CNW/ – Bear Creek Mining Corporation (TSX Venture: BCM) (“Bear Creek”
or the “Company”) is pleased to provide shareholders with an update on
its activities regarding the Santa Ana and Corani projects in Peru ,
and an outlook for 2016.
“2015 was a productive year for
Bear Creek, with the completion of the Corani Optimized Final
Feasibility Study* and the submission of our initial statement of claim
(the “Memorial”) in respect of the Santa Ana project arbitration,”
states Andrew Swarthout , President and CEO. “Corani is one of the
largest undeveloped silver projects in the world, and coupled with our
Santa Ana deposit, forms the basis of Bear Creek’s future growth
profile. We recognize that during this sustained downturn in mining
markets and metal prices our treasury is a key asset and a factor that
separates us from many other exploration and development companies. Our
goal for 2016 is simple; to continue to meaningfully move the Corani
project forward and work to unlock the value at Santa Ana while
operating in as cost-effective a manner as possible so that our treasury
continues to buffer us from the worst of the mining downturn.

Ultimately, our aim is to weather this mining market slump and emerge
from it in a ‘front-row’ position, able to accelerate quickly and
decisively when the markets improve.”
Santa AnaThe
Santa Ana arbitration, being heard at the International Centre for
Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID”), is proceeding on schedule.
Bear Creek’s Memorial was filed on May 29, 2015 , which was followed by
the Government of Peru’s Counter-Memorial filing on October 6, 2015 .
Bear Creek submitted its reply to Peru’s Counter-Memorial in early January, 2016.
Peru’s rejoinder to this filing is due to be submitted to ICSID in
mid-April and a final submission from Bear Creek will be filed in late
May, 2016. ICSID is posting these written submissions on their website,
generally within several weeks of their filing, at https://icsid.worldbank.org/apps/ICSIDWEB/cases/Pages/casedetail.aspx?CaseNo=ARB/14/21&tab=DOC.
In-person hearings before the arbitration tribunal are scheduled to
occur at ICSID headquarters from September 8 to 16, 2016 , after which
the tribunal will commence its deliberations. An award on Bear Creek’s
case is anticipated within the second half of 2017, though there is no
prescribed deadline for the tribunal’s ruling. Bear Creek and its legal
counsel remain very confident in the merits of its claim that the Santa
Ana project was expropriated without compensation in June 2011 through
the Government of Peru’s issuance of Supreme Decree 032, which
nullified the Company’s rights to advance the Santa Ana project.
completing the Corani Optimized Final Feasibility Study last year, Bear
Creek undertook an exploratory investigation of possible Corani
project-financing scenarios. Feedback from a range of potential
participants, including lenders, off-take partners, development banks,
equity markets, and streaming partners, aligned closely with the
Company’s internal conclusions; Corani,
as one of the largest, and longest-life-span, undeveloped silver
deposits in the world, is a financeable and buildable operation but will
require significant upfront capital access and improved metal and share
prices to justify a development decision
. Therefore, our plans for
Corani during the coming months are to continue to de-risk the project
by acquiring key permits in preparation for an application for the
Construction Permit that is ultimately required to commence development,
while maintaining the excellent community relationships we have worked
hard to foster. The Company’s goal is to ensure the necessary components
are in place to make sound and nimble decisions for Corani when the
opportunity arises. To this end, in late 2015 Bear Creek submitted
modifications (based on the Corani Optimized Final Feasibility Study) to
its Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (“ESIA”) originally
approved in September 2013 . In mid- January Bear Creek received approval of the modified ESIA from the Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mines; a key milestone for the Corani project and an important component of the eventual Construction Permit.
Exploration ProjectsBear
Creek has 3 prospective exploration properties in Peru under joint
venture; the Sumi and La Yegua copper-gold projects and the Maria José
gold-silver project. While we continue to maintain an ownership interest
in these projects, they are currently being advanced at virtually no
cost to the Company.
Creek’s strategy for the coming months will continue to comprise both
offensive and defensive elements. We will continue the Santa Ana
arbitration process so that its value to shareholders can be unlocked.
We will continue to meet our Corani social and environmental obligations
and maintain our cooperative and respectful community partnerships
while we work to secure the additional permits required for its eventual
development. Our focus on
longevity will be amplified in the coming months however, in order to
preserve our treasury as long as possible without reversing our forward
General and administrative expenses are being lowered as
much as possible, staffing levels are being reduced to core functions
only, and the Company is preparing to replace a significant percentage
of the cash component of director and management compensation with
non-cash alternatives.
*see Bear Creek news releases dated June 2, 2015 and July 20, 2015 , available on its website (www.bearcreekmining.com) for details of the 2015 Corani Optimized Final Feasibility Study.
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
Andrew Swarthout
President and CEO

And this is what it means:

  • We’re still pretending we’ll get something from Santa Ana.
  • Corani doesn’t work.
  • We’re running out of money.

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