Nevada Copper commences production at Pumpkin Hollow Mine

December 16, 2019

Nevada Copper Corp. announced that it has started production at its Pumpkin Hollow Mine in Nevada.

The timing of the opening is good for Nevada Copper as demand for copper is strong and prices are projected to rise due to increasing demand from the electric vehicle industry. In recent months, U.S. copper deposits have drawn nearly $3 billion in investments from small and large miners alike. In December, Rio Tinto announced that it would invest $1.5 billion in the Bingham Canyon Mine over the next six years.

Nevada Copper spent about $200 million to develop the underground mine, less than 100 km (60 miles) from Tesla’s massive Gigafactory in the state’s northern edge. The mine is expected to produce about 27 kt/a (30,000 stpy) of copper concentrate.

Reuters reported that the mine’s operating cost of $1.86/lb is about 49 percent below current copper prices.

In a press release, Nevada Copper said the mine as a projected life of 13.5 years with a further 636 million lbs of inferred resources.

Nevada Copper plans to finish a feasibility study by the end of next year on whether to construct a nearby openpit mine. The company controls about 22,000 acres in northern Nevada and says it believes it has expansion potential.

The mine was developed amidst a push by U.S. President Donald Trump and other officials in Washington to boost domestic minerals production to reduce the nation’s reliance on rivals.

Nevada Copper has agreements to supply all of its copper for the next three years to several parties, including commodities trader Transamine Trading SA.

Tesla Inc, SK Innovation Co and other automakers and battery makers are opening or expanding across the United States, facilities that are expected to consume a rising share of copper produced in the country.

Rival miner Rio Tinto Plc said earlier this month it would spend $1.5 billion to expand its Kennecott copper mine in Utah. Glencore Plc took control earlier this year of PolyMet Mining Corp, which is developing a Minnesota copper and nickel mine. And Freeport-McMoRan Inc is spending heavily to build out several Arizona copper mines.

Photo credit: Nevada Copper.


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