In anticipation of a re-start of full-scale construction activities, the company has begun transitioning infrastructure from care and maintenance to active status and has also initiated procurement of certain key long-lead items. This equipment includes semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) and ball mills for the processing plant as well as mobile mining equipment. It has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Caterpillar Financial Services Corp for a lease on certain Caterpillar and Elphinstone underground mining equipment, and another LOI with Epiroc for a lease on certain underground mining equipment.
Nevada Copper has also signed a pre-works contract with Cementation USA, which will allow for the preparation of the existing shaft and hoist infrastructure prior to the re-start of underground construction activities. The existing shaft is currently at a depth of approximately 1,900ft (579m), just 250ft (76m) from completion.
Cementation USA was previously engaged by the company in 2013 to commence shaft sinking and underground development and therefore has comprehensive, existing knowledge of the Pumpkin Hollow project.
These activities de-risk the re-start of construction of the project, according to Nevada Copper. These activities will allow the company to promptly advance the re-start of construction of its 5,000 short tons per day (4,536t/d) underground project, targeting first copper production in 2019.
Matt Gili, CEO of Nevada Copper, commented: "Construction readiness is at an advanced stage, and activity continues to ramp up at Nevada Copper's Pumpkin Hollow site. The preliminary steps taken, including negotiating key contracts as well as on site activities and ordering of long-lead equipment, are in line with the current schedule of the company and support the goal of first copper production in 2019."