VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Jan 3, 2013) - Candente Copper Corp. (DNT.TO)(CCOXF)(DNT.TO) ("Candente Copper" or "the Company") is pleased to advise that exploration and feasibility drilling has recommenced on the Cañariaco property.

Two drills are now working on the property. The first hole was collared on December 21, 2012 on Cañariaco Norte and is a metallurgical hole. The second drill was collared several days later at Cañariaco Sur and is an exploration hole.

The Company received the water permit from the Authority Nacional de Agua ("ANA") on December 07, 2012 which allows the Company to use site water for the drilling activities and was the last permit required for drilling to commence at Cañariaco. In accordance with best environmental practices, water used for drilling will be collected in ponds and recycled as much as possible. Upon completion of drilling, water used will be treated and kept in the ponds where it will undergo a natural evaporation process. Muds (additives) used for drilling will be contained and transported off site for disposal in an approved disposal facility.

Approximately 11,000 metres of feasibility drilling are planned for Cañariaco Norte and approximately 2,500 metres of exploration drilling are planned for Cañariaco Sur. Approximately 140 local employees are currently engaged in support of the drilling and other project site activities.

Community Dialogue

The National Dialogue and Sustainability Office of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers ("PCM") is continuing to establish a constructive "Dialogue for Development" with the participation of the different regional and national sectors related to the Cañariaco Project. In this manner proposals, concerns and development of the area which the community or others may have will be openly discussed, and that the Company''s project activities, impacts and intentions are accurately and factually presented. 

Candente Copper, which has been clear with policies of social and environmental responsibilities, abides by and forms part of the proposal made by the Central Government, in respect for the laws and practices mentioned above.

This dialogue is intended to build on the agreement of July 8, 2012 whereby the Community of San Juan de Kañaris granted the Company surface access for exploration for a three year period. The General Assembly of July 8, 2012 was attended by approximately 1,000 people and the resulting Act (Acta) was signed by over 700 community members. 

The Ministry of Energy and Mines ("MINEM") reviewed all legal documentation and confirmed that the result of this General Assembly is the only legally valid Community meeting regarding surface access.

As part of the three year access agreement of July 8, 2012, Candente Copper committed 1.5 million Peruvian soles (approximately US$585,000) to the community of San Juan de Kañaris. This fund will be managed by committees comprised of community representatives and members of Candente Copper''s Peru based management team. Disbursements approved by the committees will be made for projects, partnerships and causes demonstrated to promote healthy and sustainable communities.

Sustainability and Community Development Programs

The Company is continuing its Sustainable Development Programs within the Community of San Juan de Kañaris. Our community strategy is based on the United Nation''s Millenium Development Goals ("UMDG") which are themes of development highlighted by the United Nations as the most urgent obstacles to poverty reduction. The UNDG''s focus is on education, gender equality and health, child mortality, disease control, environment and global partnerships.

Candente Copper has developed and is supporting agricultural programs in coffee and quinoa, as well as education and health. The Company is promoting the development and procurement of local services and skills geared towards employment to increase shared value within the communities of the Cañariaco project area. Recently Candente Copper supported the state trades school Sencico to certify 40 young community members in electrical installations.

Candente Copper has also formed partnerships with local and international Non Governmental Organizations and Institutions ("NGOs"). Several of the NGOs work in association with the Company and several work independently. Save the Children works independently to improve the maternal skills, hygiene and health of women and children in the communities of San Juan de Kañaris. Save the Children is also working to strengthen the connections between the rural high Andean communities and the health and educational services and programs of the Regional and National Governments. Candente Copper''s alliance with the Clinton-Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative provided much needed corrective eye surgery to a number of people suffering from reduced vision due to cataracts in the provinces of Lambayeque and Cajamarca. In coordination with this program, the Lions Club of Chiclayo has provided free eyeglasses to a large number of children and elderly who were diagnosed with substandard vision.

Working with the NGO Progreso Agrario (Pro-A) and the Associacion de Productores Organicos de San Juan Bautista Kañaris (A.P.C), Candente Copper is assisting coffee growers in the region to improve coffee bean quality and yield, achieve eco-socio certifications, and to obtain direct access to International markets for their coffee beans. The success of this coffee project has driven a second agricultural initiative in the promotion of quinoa demonstration plots in the higher altitude Andean communities. Collectively, these programs are designed to provide direct long term benefit to community members through enhancement of skills in organization and association, nutrition, hygiene, agriculture, career development and local product marketing skills.

Candente Copper also has an active partnership with RENIEC, the authority of the Peruvian government that assigns documentation and identity cards to Peruvian citizens. Many community members of San Juan de Kañaris are not registered with the state and as a result may not have access to state social services such as health and education.

About Candente Copper

Candente Copper''s flagship project is the 100% owned, 7.5 billion pound, Feasibility stage Cañariaco Norte Copper Project located in northern Peru''s prolific