CNW | 12 Aug 2014
August 12, 2014,
Bear Creek announces its intent to commence an arbitration against Peru - Santa Ana dispute
VANCOUVER, Aug. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ - Bear Creek Mining (TSX Venture : BCM) ("Bear Creek" or the "Company") announces that it intends to commence an arbitration proceeding against the Republic of Peru ("Peru") pursuant to Article 824 of the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the Republic of Peru (the "Canada-Peru FTA"). Bear Creek has submitted the formal request on August 11, 2014 and is completing the required formalities to commence the arbitration proceedings. While Bear Creek remains committed to continuing discussions with the government of Peru to resolve and settle the dispute relating to the Santa Ana mining project, commencing the arbitration proceedings is necessary to preserve the Company’s rights under the Canada-Peru FTA. Commencing the arbitration proceedings against Peru does not preclude Bear Creek from continuing to participate in settlement negotiations with the government of Peru, which Bear Creek intends to do.
Bear Creek delivered to the Peruvian Minister of Economy and Finance, on February 6, 2014, a Notice of Intent to Submit a Claim to Arbitration ("Notice of Intent"), under the Canada-Peru FTA (see news release dated February 7, 2014). The filing of the Notice of Intent initiated a six-month consultation period between the parties during which time the Company continued to attempt to amicably settle the dispute. No settlement was reached during that six-month period. The dispute arises, inter alia, out of the enactment by the government of Peru on June 25, 2011, of Supreme Decree 032 rescinding the Company’s rights to operate the Santa Ana mining project and which resulted in a complete stoppage of activities at Santa Ana and significant damages to the Company.
Andrew Swarthout, CEO and President, stated "while I would characterize the settlement discussions to date as being productive and significant progress has been made towards an agreement, the protracted discussions have not yet produced a final settlement agreement within the mandated timeframe under the Treaty and the Company is required to take this action which fully protects Bear Creek’s rights. The government of Peru continues to send a clear message that it wishes to resolve this matter and it has committed to maintain the momentum in our negotiations. We too remain committed to working towards an amicable final resolution of the dispute which we hope will occur in the near-term."
Mr. Swarthout added, "the permitting process at Bear Creek’s Corani silver-lead-zinc project, which represents the majority of the Company’s value, continues to make good progress. Detailed engineering, including project optimization, are progressing solidly towards permit applications in Q1 2015 and community relations remain on very solid ground. Interaction with the Government with respect to Corani continues to be positive."