Nevada Copper restarts Pumpkin Hollow processing, shares up

Share this article

Nevada Copper Corp. [NCU-TSX] said Tuesday has restarted processing operations at its Pumpkin Hollow underground mine in Nevada with the first ore being fed to the mill.

“The restart of the mill has been orchestrated through careful planning and establishing the infrastructure needed to ensure sustained process plant operations, including the building of significant surface stockpiles and progression on critical capital projects,’’ said Nevada Copper President and CEO Randy Buffington.

“We are now well positioned to move towards steady state operations of 5,000 tons per day,’’ he said. “Once steady-state operations are achieved, the company may consider relatively simple optimization opportunities in 2024 to increase mill throughput potential beyond 5,000 tpd,” he said.

Nevada Copper shares advanced on the news, rising 6.25% or $0.01 to 17 cents on volume of 128,370. The shares are trading in a 52-week range of 44 cents and 13.5 cents.

Pumpkin Hollow is a high-grade skarn/iron oxide copper gold (IOCG) deposit located within a porphyry copper district within the Walker Lane mineral belt of western Nevada.

The project hosts an underground mine as well as a permitted open pit development project located four kilometres west of the underground mine.

Production at Pumpkin Hollow’s processing plant began on December 16, 2019, utilizing development ore stockpiled during the underground mine construction.

Pumpkin Hollow was expected to produce an average of 50 million pounds over a projected 14-year mine-life. During the first five years of production, the all-in-sustaining cost was expected to be US$1.86 a pound. The life of mine all-in-sustaining cost was expected to be US$1.96 a pound.

However, two years ago, the ramp-up timeline was delayed due to significant operational and geotechnical challenges. For example, access to planned stopes was delayed due to an unidentified weak rock structure being encountered in the main ramp to the East South Zone that requires additional drilling and geotechnical mitigation work to reinforce the area.

On Tuesday, the company said the initial stope in the 2023 mining sequence was mined in July and August with 9,000 tons of ore extracted in the Sugarcube area of the East South (ES) Zone. Drilling and blasting on the next planned stope in the Alphabet area in the ES Zone is in progress and is expected to yield 20,000 tons of ore by the end of October.

Meanwhile, work on the underground crusher and ore handling system is progressing. The Geho watering system is mechanically complete with electrical and piping installation in process and expected to be completed and commissioned by the end of this month.

In addition, the company said one reverse circulation drill is planned to be on site starting the week of October 2, 2023. The primary goal of the 5,000-foot drill program is to follow up on the recent results and historic sampling. The Copper Ridge and Dimples target areas are outside the current mineral resources and have the potential to establish additional mineral resources within the Pumpkin Hollow property.

Share this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *