Nevada Copper Announces Positive Feasibility Study Results for Stage 1 Underground Mine
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 13, 2012) - Nevada Copper Corp. (TSX:NCU) ("Nevada Copper") announces that it has SEDAR-filed its National Instrument 43-101 Technical Report Feasibility Study ("Feasibility Study") for its 100% owned Pumpkin Hollow Copper project located near Yerington, Nevada. The report is available at www.sedar.com. The Feasibility Study confirms the technical and financial viability of constructing and operating an underground Stage 1 mine development of the East deposit, and will also be available on Nevada Copper's website (www.nevadacopper.com). The Feasibility Study builds upon two previous Preliminary Economic Assessments and a previous feasibility study published in February 2012, and was prepared by Tetra Tech ("Tetra Tech"), an international engineering firm.
The Feasibility Study confirms the technical and financial viability of constructing and operating an underground Stage 1 mine development of the East deposit, with ore hoisted to surface by way of a 24 foot diameter production shaft to an associated 6,500 ton per day processing facility. The mine development footprint is confined to patented private claims and requires only Nevada State permits - no Federal permits are required. These State permits are expected to be issued in early 2013.
Assuming Nevada Copper moves forward with a staged development approach, the Stage 1 underground operation will be followed by a Stage 2 development of the large open pit operation on the North and South deposits ("Western Deposits"). A separate feasibility study, due for release by early 2013, will optimize the feasibility study published in February 2012 and will consist of a larger combined open pit and underground mine development. This feasibility study will incorporate the recently-expanded mineral resources in the Western Deposits as previously reported in a News Release dated September 7, 2012.
Highlights of the Feasibility Study (All amounts are stated in United States dollars):
-- The project development consists of a 6,500 ton-per-day underground
operation at the East deposit, feeding a single 6,500 ton-per-day
concentrator located near the East shaft;
-- First production targeted for early 2015, with an initial mine life of
-- Proven and Probable Mineral Reserves (East deposit only):
823 million pounds of copper
220,765 ounces of gold and 4.7 million ounces of silver;
-- Life-of-Mine ("LOM") metal production contained in concentrates totals
759 million pounds of copper
167,439 ounces of gold and 2.7 million ounces of silver;
-- Average annual copper production in concentrates:
Years 1 to 5: 74.6 million pounds per year
Years 1 to 10: 66.9 million pounds per year
-- Average annual gold and silver production in concentrates.
Years 1 to 5: 23,700 ozs gold per year
Years 1 to 10: 15,900 ozs gold per year
Years 1 to 5: 340,100 ozs silver per year
Years 1 to 10: 248,600 ozs silver per year
-- Initial capital costs are estimated to be $329 million including
contingency, excluding working capital of $15.4 million and excluding
approximately $17 million already expended for shaft related activities.
A further $40 million will be allocated from current cash on hand to
fund future capital costs.
-- Life-of-Mine ("LOM") site operating costs are $41.46 per ton of ore-
milled. Copper production costs, net of gold and silver revenue credits
Year 1 to 5: $1.21 per pound of payable copper
Years 1 to 10: $1.51 per pound of payable copper
-- Summary of Economic Results:
1. Base Case: Three year trailing average price of $3.59/lb. copper,
$1,419/oz. gold and $27.14/oz. silver:
Net Present Value at 5% is $419 million, pre-tax.
Net Present Value at 8% is $309 million, pre-tax.
Internal Rate of Return is 28.6% and payback is 2.5 years.
2. Alternate Case: Quoted copper forward prices to 2022 then long term
price of $2.75/lb. copper; gold and silver same as Base Case:
Net Present Value at 5% is $276 million, pre-tax.
Net Present Value at 8% is $201 million, pre-tax.
Internal Rate of Return is 24.3% and payback is 2.7 years.
3. Average annual operating cash-flow (Years 1 to 5):
Base Case: $149 million.
Alternate Case: $139 million.
Readers should refer to the Feasibility Study Technical Report for further details of the project development.
In August 2012 Nevada Copper commissioned Tetra Tech Inc. to complete the Feasibility Study in accordance with NI 43-101. The technical and economic information in this news release was extracted from the November 19, 2012 news release announcing the results of the Feasibility Study. That release was reviewed and approved by Mr. Ed Lips, P.E., Project Manager with Tetra Tech, and overall manager for the Feasibility Study. Mr. Lips is an Independent Qualified Person within the meaning of NI 43-101.
This release was also reviewed by Gregory French, P.G., Vice-President & Project Manager of Nevada Copper and Robert McKnight, P. Eng., Executive Vice-President of Nevada Copper, both of whom are Non-independent Qualified Persons within the meaning of NI 43-101.
NEVADA COPPER CORP.
Giulio T. Bonifacio, President & CEO
We seek safe harbor.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Nevada Copper Corp.
604-683-8266 or Toll free: 1-877-648-8266
Nevada Copper Corp.
Robert McKnight, P.Eng.
Executive Vice President & CFO