After Nevada Copper (NCU.TO) closed a refinancing deal, resulting in a sharply increased share count but improved capital situation, the company is now restarting the construction phase of the underground component of the Pumpkin Hollow copper mine. As you might remember, the underground mine was expected to process approximately 5,000 tonnes per day, which would have been a first phase to an integrated mine plan consisting of an underground and open pit mine.
Unfortunately Nevada Copper wasted some time on a feasibility study discussing a large integraded (open pit + underground) mine, only to fall back on the original plan: let’s finish the underground mine first, and deal with the open pit later; a plan we have always favored. We are glad to see Nevada Copper resurrecting from a long hibernation, and the company now actually expects to be in production next year which will undoubtedly please its shareholders.
This doesn’t mean Nevada Copper is getting rid of its open pit plan, not at all. In fact, it has started a 10,000 meter drill program focusing on the higher grade zones of the open pit, as well as upgrading the inferred material to a higher resource (and perhaps reserve) category. On top of that, NCU will also work on an optimized open pit scenario which could (and should) improve the economics of the open pit, which basically is a gigantic earth moving exercise.
Nevada Copper also had to part ways with Giulio Bonifacio, its CEO. An interim-CEO has been appointed, but the search for a new permanent CEO is ongoing. Earlier today, the company announced the appointments of David Swisher as VP Operations and Timothy Drake as General Manager- Surface Construction at Pumpkin Hollow.