Nevada Copper Corp.'s preliminary economic assessment outlined the economics for development of an independent open-pit project at its Pumpkin Hollow copper property in Nevada, as an alternative to the previously studied integrated open-pit and underground operation.
The PEA estimated a posttax net present value, discounted at 7.5%, of US$927 million and a 19% internal rate of return, according to the Sept. 10 release.
The initial CapEx is estimated at US$592 million with a mine design and plant processing rate of 37,000 tons per day, which reduces the implementation risk compared to the previously studied 70,000 t/d integrated project.
The C1 cash costs are estimated at US$1.67 per pound, net of by-product credits.
The project is expected to produce an average 177 million pounds of payable copper per annum for a 20-year mine life.
Meanwhile, CapEx for a second-phase expansion to a 70,000 t/d rate in the eighth year of mine life is estimated at US$447 million.
The company noted that there is potential to fund ongoing development work and construction through future cash flows from the underground mine, reducing the need to access equity capital markets.
Last week, Nevada Copper completed a US$70 million drawdown under its previously announced precious metals stream agreement, part of a US$378 million funding package for the Pumpkin Hollow project.
The company took a construction decision for the project in late August. First concentrate is expected in the fourth quarter of 2019.