(TSX: NCU; US-OTC: NEVDF) has tabled a new preliminary economic assessment (PEA) suggesting an open pit mine at its Pumpkin Hollow copper project in Nevada, where the company is already part-way through constructing an underground mine.
The PEA consists of two phases. The first would cost an initial US$592 million and include a plant capable of processing 33,500 tonnes per day. It would focus on mining the project’s high grade Northern pit, using the South pit as supplementary feed.
That phase would have a $567 million after tax net present value (NPV) at a 7.5% discount rate with an 18% after tax internal rate of return (IRR). The project would process 12.2 million tonnes per year over a 16-year mine life at all in sustaining costs of US$2.01 per lb. of copper.
The PEA includes the option to expand to a second phase that would increase production to 63,500 tonnes per day in year eight for US$447 million. The second phase would increase the after tax NPV to US$927 million at a 7.5% discount rate and the after tax IRR to 19%. It would extend the mine life to 21 years and produce an average 177 million lb. of copper per year.
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