Nevada Copper Corp. announced a development plan to swiftly advance the Pumpkin Hollow Underground Mine Project at the Pumpkin Hollow Copper Property in Yerington to construction phase, with the objective of making a construction decision by mid-2018 and realizing first copper production in 2019.
The company reported highlights of the plan in a Nov. 20 press release:
Completion of Optimized Underground Project Study: Release of the results of a pre-feasibility study on the underground project, with a new focus on reduced capital costs, and a mine plan oriented toward the extraction of higher-grade, higher-margin ore;
Chief Operating Officer Appointment: The appointment of Phillip Day as chief operating officer, as Nevada Copper moves forward with a construction restart of the underground project;
Financial Support: Financial support from Pala Investments, Nevada Copper’s largest shareholder, to deliver a project financing package for the construction of the underground project, together with existing and new investors;
Development Plan: Development milestones and timeline for the underground project; and
open pit project optimization: Significant opportunities identified for open pit optimization.
Highlights of the Underground Project Pre-Feasibility Study
The Pumpkin Hollow Property encompasses the only fully-permitted copper project of scale in the United States, comprising two potential copper mines:
The high-grade underground project; and
A large scale open pit and underground project with reserves of 5 billion pounds of copper, 0.76 million ounces of gold and 27.6 million ounces of silver.
The two projects benefit from over $220 million of prior expenditures which funded a significant amount of engineering work and technical studies, and allowed for the construction of a production-sized headframe and hoist, warehouse, a 1,900 foot deep, 24-foot diameter concrete-lined production size shaft and over 600 feet of lateral development.
The PFS for the underground project leverages the substantial existing infrastructure at the site, including power, water, road access, plus a production shaft and lateral mine development. The objective of the PFS has been to optimize the previously-defined underground portion of the mineral resources at Pumpkin Hollow with a focus on:
Reduced capital cost;
Higher mined ore grades;
Reduced operating cost profile;
De-risked construction plan, including brownfield assets, EPC construction approach and contract mining during ramp-up; and
A philosophy on focusing on “margin-over-tons”, while maintaining expansion and extension optionality.
Sedgman Engineering and Mining Plus have taken advantage of the existing infrastructure to improve capital cost accuracy and reduce development risk, and worked with Nevada Copper’s project team, supported by Pala Investments as technical advisor, on preparation of the PFS.
Project highlights and further details are available on www.nevadacopper.com.