As the company marks its 10th anniversary later this year, Vancouver-based Nevada Copper Corp. has every reason to look forward to the next 10 years, thanks in no small part to its flagship property. With the strength of the Pumpkin Hollow project in Yerington, Nev., Nevada Copper is in a prime position to reap the benefits of the state’s next big copper mine. Although the property has the qualities to be a major economic force in the state all by itself, Nevada Copper says the strengths it brings to the project will be critical to helping the company take advantage of those qualities.
Pumpkin Hollow was discovered by US Steel in 1960, and more than 180,000 meters of drilling had been conducted on the property by US Steel and other mining companies until 2001 to uncover the large copper and magnetite resources contained within. Nevada Copper acquired the site a few years later and since then has been focused on beginning underground mining operations, which it did in 2012. The company says that the mine is expected to be in production by 2019.
The Pumpkin Hollow project is projected to produce up to 274 million pounds of copper per year, according to Nevada Copper’s 2015 integrated feasibility study. Over the anticipated 23-year life of the mine, Nevada Copper expects to produce up to 4.5 billion pounds of copper as well as 512,000 ounces of gold and 15.6 million ounces of silver.
Beyond the mineralization within the mine, however, Nevada Copper says Pumpkin Hollow represents an ideal spot for a mine based on numerous other factors. “Yerington, Nevada, has proven to be a prime spot for the Pumpkin Hollow Copper Project for three main reasons: location, infrastructure and the unique environment,” the company says.
Located within a two-hour drive of Carson City and Reno, Nev., Yerington provides Nevada Copper with an ideal location to begin its work on the Pumpkin Hollow project, according to the company. “Yerington is a prime location for the Pumpkin Hollow project for several reasons,” the company says. “There are no neighbors on the north, south or east sides of the mine. The region has very low natural resource values and no land use conflicts. The city of Yerington offers full services and has agreed to provide water and is interested in providing sewer services to the project.”
The company says the infrastructure surrounding Yerington is perfect for the mine’s immediate needs as well as the long-term prospects of the community. “Infrastructure in the local area is excellent,” the company says, noting the presence of a railroad 10 miles from the site as well as Reno-Tahoe International Airport less than two hours away. A paved road makes for easy access to the site, and a proposed new access road would connect it directly to U.S. Highway 95A. “Infrastructure is essential to enable post-mining sustainable economic development around Pumpkin Hollow now and in the future, long after mining is complete.”
It takes more than a favorable location and mineralization to make a mine site successful, however, and Nevada Copper says it believes it has the pieces in place to capitalize fully on the opportunities Pumpkin Hollow offers, starting with the experienced people it has within the company. “Without the right people, Pumpkin Hollow’s copper, gold, silver and iron would remain underground and unused,” the company says. “A $1 billion project, Pumpkin Hollow requires thousands of people in dozens of disciplines to ensure that the mine will operate safely and efficiently while protecting the local environment.
“Key members of the management team bring diverse experience to the project,” the company adds. “With their depth of experience and their diverse skill set, Pumpkin Hollow is sure to benefit Yerington.”
The company also believes that its approach to mine operations in terms of technology and safety will help ensure an efficient and environmentally sensitive operation. “Nevada Copper has established a strong safety program and plans to maintain it by diligently following the health and safety codes and regulations outlined by federal and state guidelines,” the company says. “Cutting-edge technology plays an important part in ensuring a safe environment for the mine employees, local community and the environment.
“Data processing is just one way Pumpkin Hollow will use technology to ensure things are done the right way,” the company continues. “Operations can be run and monitored electronically. GPS will be used to monitor and record the location of mine haul trucks and assist to guide them to their appropriate destinations.
“In addition to worker safety being paramount, Nevada Copper must also focus on the local environment,” the company adds. “Millions of dollars have already been spent on environmental studies and tests, such as pump tests, groundwater packer tests, well monitoring and groundwater studies. This data allows Nevada Copper to manage and minimize the extent of the mine’s potential impacts.”