After the signing of a financing package that will provide up to $123 million in liquidity, Nevada Copper is set to restart operations at its Underground Mine location within the larger Pumpkin Hollow reserve. The resumption of copper extraction at the site comes with an optimised plan to bring the mine’s life-cycle value forward by incorporating the larger, higher-grade East North Zone into present activities.
The EN Zone is considered the reserve’s highest value area based on geotechnical modelling, and will now be more easily accessible thanks to a second dyke crossing. The geotechnical rock mass is believed to be of a high quality, allowing for the extraction of larger copper stopes and thereby boosting efficiency. The calculations were made after drilling into nine of the first stopes to be mined from the area.
The final dyke crossing is expected to be completed in early 2023, with a plan being drawn up in consultation with a high-profile grouting and geotechnical expert from outside the organisation. Once the dyke crossing is completed, a development contractor will begin to develop the EN Zone in early 2023.
Nevada Copper is responsible for operations at the Pumpkin Hollow copper project in Nevada, U.S. The substantial reserves at the site include gold and silver. The Underground Mine and its associated processing facility is one of two fully permitted projects, along with a large-scale open pit project which is expected to begin development in the near future.
The company recently announced Guillaume de Dardel, Head of Energy Transition Metals, as its newest board member as of 4 November 2022. De Dardel sits on the Energy Transition desk at Mercuria Energy Trading SA, one of Nevada Copper’s largest shareholders. Mercuria is one of the world’s largest independent global energy and commodities groups, and has put the energy transition at the heart of a new renewable strategy.
Why it matters
Copper is used in almost every sector of the economy, and prices are therefore an indicator of overall global economic health. As has been seen in other commodity markets, the supply shock of COVID-19 and the effects of the war in Ukraine have destabilised supplies and sent prices to record levels. Despite the relative easing in the copper market since an all-time high was observed in February 2022, extraction has lagged behind other metals, with an increase of just 123% in production observed over the last 30 years. The resumption and expansion of Nevada Copper’s activities is expected to ease the geopolitical and economic pressures on the copper market.