YERINGTON, Nev., February 19, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Nevada Copper Corp. (TSX: NCU) (Nevada Copper or the Business) provides a corporate and operational update of the underground mine of its Pumpkin Hollow project (the Underground project).
Update of operations
Starting up and lifting the shaft
- Following the completion of the main shaft material handling system, the company achieved a peak daily lift rate of over 3,000 tonnes in February, and achieved a lift rate equivalent to 5,000 tonnes per day on a team basis.
- Despite improving lift rates, the cumulative impact of a series of unscheduled shutdowns due to mechanical issues and other incidents in the main shaft has resulted in lower ore production than forecast to date in 2021. Average lift rates for February to date were around 1,600 tonnes per day, compared to around 3,000 tonnes per day. Modernization work to address these issues is expected to be completed in the coming weeks.
- The mill’s throughput has performed well with an average of around 3,100 tonnes of ore per day so far in 2021, with a peak of 4,000 tonnes per day.
- Recoveries continued to increase, with recoveries averaging around 90% in February.
- Product specifications remain in line with expectations, with clean, high quality copper concentrates delivered to the Companys supplier.
- The mill continues to process development ore, and higher grade stope ore is expected to be available in the coming months as planned.
Increase in production
- Due to the delays in the aforementioned wells and the delay in upgrading underground electrical and ventilation systems, the production of copper concentrates in the first half of 2021 is expected to be significantly lower than expected.
- The resolution of major well commissioning elements, the ongoing installation of additional underground power and ventilation upgrades, and the deployment of additional equipment for the mobile fleet underground are expected to drive rates higher. copper production from the second quarter of 2021.
- The company expects that due to the delays mentioned above, steady state production of 5,000 tonnes of ore per day will be postponed from mid-year to the third quarter of 2021.
We are pleased with the continuous improvements in machining operations and peak lifting achieved this month, said Mike Ciricillo, CEO of Nevada Copper. We look forward to completing the main shaft upgrades in the coming weeks and the resulting lift and production increases.
- The Company recently executed and closed the previously announced credit facility on December 9, 2020 (the Credit facility), which makes it possible to draw $ 15 million subject to certain conditions. In addition, the lender has confirmed its intention to make the accordion function available to the Company as needed, which will increase the size of the credit facility by $ 15 million.
- The project delays highlighted above will reduce copper sales compared to the Companys plan for the first half of 2021. The company intends to meet the resulting additional cash requirements to accelerate the ramp-up through the use of its available cash, the working capital facility, the $ 5 million in dedicated cost overrun funds and the borrowings under the credit facility.
Regulation of entrepreneurs
- The company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Nevada Copper, Inc., resolved its legacy disputes with its subcontractors, Cementation USA Inc. and Sedgman USA Inc. In accordance with settlements, the company paid $ 1 million and issued 2 million dollars in common stock and will make cash payments of $ 14 million in installments beginning in September 2021. Additionally, the company could be required to issue up to an additional $ 2 million in common stock if certain actions performance are achieved.
- These settlements result in an improvement in the company’s working capital position of $ 16 million, including a reduction in payables of $ 4.7 million from what was previously projected. The company also received a cash refund following the release of its bail.
There can be no assurance that the actual costs to complete the ramp-up will not be higher than expected by the Company. In the event of further cost overruns, the Company will have to seek additional financing. The company continues to advance its analysis of medium and long term mine planning, including associated costs and schedule implications.
The information and data in this press release has been reviewed by Greg French, CPG, and David Sabourin, PE, for Nevada Copper, who are non-independent qualified persons within the meaning of NI 43-101.
About Nevada Copper
Nevada Copper (TSX: NCU) is a copper producer and owner of the Pumpkin Hollow copper project. Located in Nevada, USA, Pumpkin Hollow has substantial reserves and resources, including copper, gold, and silver. Its two fully licensed projects include the high-grade underground mine and processing facility, which is now in production, and a large-scale open-pit project, which is progressing to feasibility status.
NEVADA COPPER CORP.
Mike Ciricillo, President and CEO
For more information, contact:
Rich Matthews, Investor Relations
+1 604 757 7179
This press release includes certain statements and information that constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. All statements contained in this press release, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements and forward-looking information specifically include, but are not limited to, statements relating to operational matters and mine development plans, production and ramp-up plans and expected costs, times, results and financing.
Often, but not always, forward-looking statements and forward-looking information can be identified by the use of words such as plans, expects, potential, is expected, anticipated, is targeted, budget, planned, estimates, forecasts, intention, anticipates, or believes or negatives thereof or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results may, could, would be, could or will be undertaken, occur or be carried out. Forward-looking statements or information are subject to risks, uncertainties and other known or unknown factors which may cause actual results and events to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or information.
Forward-looking statements or information are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events or results to differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements or information, including, without limitation, risks and uncertainties related to: the company’s ability to complete the ramp-up of the underground project on schedule and cost estimates; additional capital requirements and no assurance can be given as to their availability; the impact of COVID-19 on the Company’s business and operations; the state of financial markets; history of losses; dilution; adverse events related to grinding operations, construction, development and ramp-up, including the Company’s ability to resolve issues related to underground development and processing plants; soil conditions; cost overruns related to the development, construction and ramp-up of the underground project; loss of material properties; interest rates rise; Mondial economy; limited production history; future fluctuations in metal prices; speculative nature of exploration activities; periodic interruptions in exploration, development and mining activities; environmental risks and liability; industrial accidents; failure of processing and mining equipment to perform as intended; labor disputes; supply problems; uncertainty of production and cost estimates; interpretation of drilling results and estimation of mineral resources and reserves; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; possible variations in ore reserves, mineralization grade or recovery rates from management expectations and the difference may be material; legal and regulatory procedures and community actions; the outcome of disputes with the company’s contractors; accidents; title matters; regulatory approvals and restrictions; increasing costs and physical risks associated with climate change, including extreme weather events, and new or revised climate change regulations; issuance of permits and licenses; the volatility of the market price of the Company’s common shares; Insurance; competition; hedging activities; currency fluctuations; loss of key employees; the other risks of the mining industry as well as the risks described in the management’s report of the company for the year ended December 31, 2019 and in the section entitled Risk factors of the annual information form of the company dated of May 15, 2020. or if more than one of these risks and uncertainties materialize, or if the underlying assumptions turn out to be incorrect, actual results may differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements or information. Forward-looking information and statements are made as of the date hereof. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statements or information, except as required by law.
The Company provides no assurance that forward-looking statements and information will prove to be correct, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements and information.
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