Bear Creek to kick off work at Peru silver project next year

The Corani area is a high desert mountainous environment dominated by volcanic rock and overlying glacial gravel. (Image courtesy of Bear Creek Mining.)

Canada’s Bear Creek Mining (TSX-V: BCM) plans to start construction at its Corani silver property in Peru’s Puno region next year, as it continues looking for alternatives to finance the $603 million project.

The Vancouver-based miner invested $5.7 million in the asset between January and September, with $581,000 going to drilling, the latest results show. Bear Creek already has streaming deals in place for Corani’s production, including at 1% net smelter returns (NSR) royalty to fellow Canadian miner Sandstorm Gold (NYSE: SAND) (TSX: SSL).

Chief financial officer Paul Tweddle said recent metallurgical tests at Corani will be completed in the first quarter of 2024, after which financing discussions will resume with a view toward starting construction in the second half of the year.

Bear Creek says its wholly owned Corani deposit is one of the world’s largest fully permitted silver-polymetallic deposits. It consists of 13 mineral concessions that form a contiguous block of ground covering about 5,500 hectares. 

The asset’s proven and probable reserves can support average annual payable metal production of 9.6 million ounces of silver, 98 million pounds of lead and 69 million pounds of zinc over a 15-year mine life.