Nevada Copper (TSX: NCU; OTC: NEVDF) has provided an update on operational activities at its Pumpkin Hollow underground copper mine located near Yerington in Lyon County, Nevada. The company recently closed a US$123 million financing package to support the mine's restart and ramp-up, which is underway.
An optimized life-of-mine plan that focuses on accessing the larger, higher-grade stopes of the East North zone (EN zone) – the priority of the ongoing ramp-up – has been completed and is being incorporated into Nevada Copper's development plans in preparation for restart of mining operations next year.
The EN zone is estimated to contain the highest value area of the underground copper reserves at Pumpkin Hollow. This zone also represents the most competent geotechnical rock mass within the reserve, which is expected to allow larger stopes to be extracted, significantly improving production efficiencies.
The new LOM plan contains an optimized stoping sequence that derisks the mine restart by advancing development activities and building significant underground inventory ahead of restarting the mill in mid-2023.
A critical milestone was achieved earlier this month when the company announced the completion of the second dike crossing, which would provide access to the higher-grade stopes of EN zone. To date, nine of the first stopes to be mined have been drilled to provide critical data for final stope design in preparation for the commencement of mining in the second half of 2023.
The underground crews have now transitioned to work on the final dike crossing, which is expected to be completed in early 2023. The completion of the dike crossing will provide necessary access for a development contractor to then begin rapid development into the EN zone.
The Pumpkin Hollow mine first entered production in late 2019. At the time, it was the first new copper mine to come online in the U.S. in over a decade. The underground mine has an annual production profile of 50 million lb. copper, 8,000 oz. gold and 150,000 oz. silver over a 13.5-year life.
Most of the mining activities were halted by Nevada Copper in July 2022 due to cash problems cited by the company. The latest financing, which includes equity investments by its largest shareholder Pala Investments and royalty streams from Triple Flag Precious Metals, would provide the company capital to progress with the mine restart and ramp up development towards the higher-grade EN zone.
Shares of Nevada Copper traded 5.8% higher by noon ET Thursday. The company's market capitalization stood at approximately $123.4 million.
THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED ON MINING.COM