April 4, 2011 - Nevada Copper Corp. (TSX: NCU) ("Nevada Copper") Nevada Copper is very pleased to announce the receipt of all State and County permits ("the Advanced Exploration permits") required to commence development of underground access to the Eastern deposits of the Pumpkin Hollow Project. This underground access will then be further developed for possible future mining as the project advances.
The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection ("NDEP") has now finalized the three permits needed to move forward on this phase of the project. These are:
- Water Pollution Control Permit for underground development and storage of mine rock on the surface;
- Second Water Pollution Control Permit for dewatering and re-infiltration of the groundwater that is pumped from underground workings; and,
- Reclamation permit.
Groundwater from dewatering must be re-infiltrated until any future mining and processing begins, at which time water will be used in any future operations, subject to the recommendations of the Definitive Feasibility Study ("DFS") due for delivery on June 30, 2011. Lyon County had previously issued the Special Use Permit for Advanced Exploration in October 2010.
"The ability to access these underground deposits by way of planned shafts and internal decline will greatly enhance our understanding of the mineral grades and tonnages as well as the geological, geotechnical and hydrological characteristics of these deposits in advance of possible future mining" commented Greg French, Vice President and Senior Project Manager. "We will now be able to conduct drilling from underground drill stations in the known East and E2 Deposits and to obtain bulk samples for confirmatory metallurgical testing. We will also be able to drill several favourable targets that have only received limited exploration from surface drilling in the past from more cost-effective underground drill stations."
Detailed decline and shaft planning for the Advanced Exploration program have been going on in conjunction with the DFS. These detailed plans are expected to be completed within the next month after which Nevada Copper plans to issue a Request for Proposals to construct the shafts and internal decline. Actual shaft sinking is expected to begin by the end of Q4 of 2011 after contractor selection, mobilization and required site upgrades, and will take approximately 24 to 27 months which includes time to equip the shafts for possible future production.
The Advanced Exploration program is a key part of the integrated strategy to permit and develop the Pumpkin Hollow Property. The three phases of the proposed project are:
- Advanced exploration,
- 8,000 ton per day mine/mill operation located entirely on private, patented claims; and
- 60,000 ton per day open pit mine feeding a separate mill facility optimized for maximum copper recovery from the open pit.
Tim Dyhr, Vice President, Environment and External Relations stated that "we are pleased with the expeditious review process undertaken by both Lyon County and the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection. Nevada Copper maintains almost continuous dialogue with local stakeholders and regulatory agencies. We have gotten tremendous interest and support from the community. They are really engaged in the process to collaborate with us to make the mine an economic and environmental success story."
This is a critical project for Lyon County and Yerington. County Manager Jeff Page said "Lyon County has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country at 19%, we know that Pumpkin Hollow can have a major impact on contributing to Lyon County economy for years to come. We know that mining in Elko, Eureka, White Pine and other rural Nevada counties is one of the few bright spots in these dismal economic times. Right now, White Pine County, with one copper mine has 8% unemployment, about half of the unemployment rate in Lyon County. We are pleased to hear that the State permits have been granted. And we are prepared to work with Nevada Copper to implement transportation, safety and emergency plans and to start review on their next phase of permitting."
Mayor Doug Homestead of Yerington stated that "we are very pleased that this project is moving forward. Though we understand that Advanced Exploration is not mining yet, it is a significant construction project that can bring a number of jobs to Yerington and Lyon County. We also understand that it will also help expedite production." The City of Yerington previously agreed to supply 2,000 acre-feet of water to Nevada Copper as a water customer.
Dyhr also said "that we are also taking a very hard look at opportunities to have mining at Pumpkin Hollow spark other economic development in and around Yerington, both during operations and at the end of mining. With advanced planning and preparation, we can tier off of the significant transportation, electrical power, water supply and other infrastructure that will be built as part of the mine to support other economic activities." As part of Advanced Exploration, Nevada Copper must post a bond of approximately $500,000 to guarantee reclamation for the Advanced Exploration program. That bond will be adjusted once detailed plans for mining are completed.
Detailed studies on groundwater, and mine rock and tailings geochemistry have been underway since May 2009. Mr. Dyhr advised that "combined with the overall project development plan underway with the DFS, we expect to have a sufficient technical package to submit applications for the private land underground mine and mill operation by the end of May 2011, and will submit permit applications as soon as those studies are completed."
Bob McKnight, Executive Vice President of Nevada Copper, commented that "we continue to meet our targets to explore, permit, and develop the Pumpkin Hollow project. The DFS is moving forward as planned, surface drilling continues to produce both favourable geological results and the detailed geotechnical and hydrogeological information necessary to permit and develop this property. As we meet these targets, we will continue to build our operational team and add other resources as needed to continue to meet key milestones."
For additional information about Nevada Copper please visit our website at www.nevadacopper.com.
NEVADA COPPER CORP.
Giulio T. Bonifacio, President & CEO
This news release includes certain statements that may be deemed "forward-looking statements". All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts, including the likelihood of commercial mining, possible future copper grades, recoveries and production rates, and possible future financings are forward-looking statements. Although Nevada Copper believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include unsuccessful exploration results, changes in metals prices, changes in the availability of funding for mineral exploration, unanticipated changes in key management personnel and general economic conditions. Mining is an inherently risky business. Accordingly the actual events may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. For more information on Nevada Copper and the risks and challenges of its business, investors should review Nevada Copper's annual filings that are available at www.sedar.com.
For further information call:
|Eugene Toffolo, Corporate Communications|
Toll free: 1-877-648-8266
|Robert McKnight, P.Eng.|
Executive Vice President