Nevada Copper, in providing an update on restart and operational activities for its Pumpkin Hollow underground copper mine in Nevada, USA, has confirmed the appointment of Dumas Mining as its Capital Projects Construction contractor.
The company is currently targeting a mill restart in the September quarter with a quick ramp up to nameplate capacity by the end of 2023.
Back in June 2022, an unidentified weak rock structure was encountered in the main ramp to the East South Zone at the undeground mine. This, Nevada Copper says, restricted access to the company’s planned East South stoping zones. In response to this event, the company took steps to curtail operating activities while developing plans to address this issue.
In the latest update, Nevada Copper said it had a clear line of sight to full-scale production with a “simple and low-risk pathway to full-scale production” established.
Randy Buffington, President & CEO of Nevada Copper, stated: “Our Pumpkin Hollow team is focused on advancing the restart project quickly and safely. We are building on the momentum of the recent achievements by the underground crews as they have progressed through the dike structure and are advancing into the EN Zone in anticipation of the underground development contractor arriving on site and commencing development. The technical and leadership teams are in place and committed to executing this restart plan. We are targeting a mill restart in the third (September) quarter with a quick ramp up to nameplate capacity by the end of 2023.”
Development into the EN Zone has demonstrated that rock quality is consistent with its geotechnical model, which predicted competent ground within the EN Zone, and development is progressing at full round lengths and standard ground support, Nevada Copper says.
The company has awarded a contract for completion of capital projects to debottleneck restart of development and underground operations. This is where Dumas is involved with Nevada Copper signing a $12 million construction contract to complete critical capital projects including the coarse ore bin and installation of an underground jaw crusher, permanent dewatering system, vent shaft stripping and surface fans. Dumas, part of Stracon, is a full-service underground mining contractor providing mine construction, development, production mining, mine services and engineering early-stage projects through well-established operating mines throughout the Americas.
Nevada Copper says its operations team, meanwhile, continues to make rapid progress on all underground activities including mine development, hoisting, stope preparation and underground projects. It has completed the bid process for the development mining contractor and is in the final stages of negotiations for a unit rate contract with an “internationally recognised major mining services contractor”, it said.
Key components of the development contract include 72,000 ft (21,946 m) of lateral capital development over a 24-month contract period; delivery of full development stopes by the September quarter of 2023 to provide sufficient faces and stopes to restart and maintain nameplate milling operations (approximately 5,000 t/d); and Nevada Copper’s operating team will perform all stope mining starting in the September quarter.