Nevada Copper Corp. has filed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) a National Instrument 43-101 compliant Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) technical report for its 100% owned Pumpkin Hollow IOCG Property in Nevada.
Results from the PEA were previously announced on December 1, 2009. The PEA incorporates a High Grade Case which is an update to the PEA results published on March 17, 2008. The technical report was prepared by Tetra Tech Inc. an industry leading international engineering firm.
The High Grade Case incorporates the recent increase to Pumpkin Hollow's resource as a result of drilling completed in 2008 and optimization studies focused on developing a production profile that would result in largely reduced capital costs and a project which would be resilient to lower copper prices while still allowing for the transition to the large integrated open pit-underground operation.
Capital costs have been reduced to approximately 25% of that required for a larger 60,000 tons per day integrated open pit-underground operation as previously reported in the March 17, 2008 PEA. The High Grade Case does not compromise the integrity of the large open pit project envisioned in the 2008 PEA, and will allow for transition to the large integrated open pit-underground operation on a staged basis.
PEA highlights for the pre-tax Base Case at copper prices from $2.00 to $3.00 per lb. copper are as follows:
- Net Present Value: $211 Million to $784 Million with an 8% discount rate;
- Internal Rate of Return: 25.3% to 60.4%;
- Total Cash Costs: $1.06/lb of copper net of by-product credits;
- Capital cost estimate: $192 Million including contingencies and working capital;
- Project payback from start of construction: 3.6 to 1.9 years.
The designed mining operation would have a 7,500 ton per day concentrator throughput. Production is derived from both the E2 and East Deposits. Underground access is from a decline with a conveyor for ore haulage. Underground mining methods use a combination of cut and fill and bulk long hole stoping methods. A small open pit in the South Deposit will supplement the difference between what is produced from underground and concentrator throughput during the first three years of the mine's life, allowing for 7,500 tons per day processed starting in Year 1. Due to the short lived life of the open pit a contractor performs the open pit mining.
The High Grade Case is 100% contained on patented mine claims resulting in the benefit of a more responsive permitting process. Capital and operating costs are based on first quarter 2008 prices. Results from both this study and the 2008 PEA form a solid basis for the Pre-Feasibility currently in progress at Pumpkin Hollow.
According to National Instrument 43-101 guidelines, a PEA is considered preliminary in nature and includes the use of inferred mineral resources which are considered too speculative geologically to apply economic considerations that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves have not demonstrated economic viability. Thus, there is no certainty that the production profile concluded in the PEA will be realized. Actual results may vary.
The mineral estimation work was performed by or under the direction of John Rozelle, PG, Tetra Tech's Mineral Resource Division Principal Geologist, an independent Qualified Person as set forth by Canadian National Instrument 43-101. The Pumpkin Hollow project is under the supervision of Gregory French, CPG #10708, a Qualified Person as defined in Canadian National Instrument 43-101, who is responsible for the preparation of the technical information in this news release. All assaying and whole rock geochemistry is processed at the American Assay Laboratories (AAL) in Reno, Nevada. Samples are delivered from the project core logging facility to AAL by Nevada Copper or AAL personnel. A Quality Assurance and Quality Control Assay Protocol have been implemented whereby blanks and standards are inserted into the assay stream and check samples are sent to Chemex-Reno and Inspectorate-Reno laboratories.