Nevada Copper, owner of the Pumpkin Hollow project in Nevada, released an operational update in late May as it worked to file its first quarter earnings.
Among the miner’s highlights was the mining of the first stope at the underground mine at Pumpkin Hollow. With an average grading of 2.5%, it is continuing the later development ramp-up.
Following the fourth quarter 2020 completion of the material handling system at the Mine Shaft, crew recorded a peak daily hoisting rate of over 3,000 tons by February 2021 at the underground mine. It also achieved a hoisting rate equivalent to 5,000 tons per day on a shift basis.
During the first quarter of this year, Nevada Copper completed significant electrical upgrades to provide power for additional production equipment and ventilation – key to the support of a ramp-up at the underground portion.
“With the installation of additional ventilation as planned and completion of dike grouting in the coming weeks, the company anticipates sustainable production of 3,000 tpd by the end of Q2 and continuing to ramp-up further to steady state production,” the company said.
Fans that have been planned for install in the third quarter may arrive a few weeks later than scheduled, the miner said, due to extended shipping times from COVID-19 related delays. Therefore, commissioning is likely not going to be performed until the last quarter of the year.
With regards to processing, Nevada Copper made significant accomplishments during the quarter. It achieved a weekly average of 4,700 tpd and a maximum daily milling throughput of 5,000 tpd during March while batch processing ore; of that, 119,000 tons was processed through the concentrator in Q1.
The company recorded concentrate production of approximately 3,173 tons at a 24% average copper grade for the first quarter. Recoveries improved from 82% in the fourth quarter of 2020 to above 90% in 2021.
“I am pleased with the progress achieved in Q1 at our underground mine and the dedication of our team,” stated Mike Ciricillo, chief executive officer of Nevada Copper.
“The operation made significant progress through the ramp-up during the first quarter, and we look forward to the interim milestone of production rates of 3,000 tpd expected in June 2021 and continuing our ramp-up to steady state production.”