Nevada Copper restarts processing at Pumpkin Hollow

4th October 2023 By: Creamer Media Reporter

Nevada Copper restarts processing at Pumpkin Hollow

Toronto-listed Nevada Copper has restarted processing operations at its Pumpkin Hollow underground mine, with the first ore being fed to the mill.

“The restart of the mill has been orchestrated through careful planning and establishing the infrastructure needed to ensure sustained process plant operations, including the building of significant surface stockpiles and progression on critical capital projects,” said Nevada Copper president and CEO Randy Buffington.

Processing operations restarted at an initial feed rate to the mills of 3 000 t/d to allow for the process team to optimise reagent addition and establish and reinforce operating procedures and ensure consistent operations. 

The mill is being recommissioned on lower grade ore stockpiles and will transition to a combination of mined stope ore and stockpiled ore.

By mid-October, throughput is planned to be increased steadily towards a goal of achieving steady state operations of 4 500 t/d to 5 000 t/d by the end of 2023. 

Once steady-state operations are achieved, the company may consider relatively simple optimisation opportunities in 2024 to increase mill throughput potential beyond 5 000 t/d.

The initial stope in the 2023 mining sequence was mined in July and August with 9 000 t of ore extracted in the Sugarcube area of the East South (ES) zone. Stope backfilling activities began in September and a full stope was backfilled, completing successful testing of both the surface paste plant and the underground paste delivery system. This Sugarcube stope is part of the ES zone planned stopes and ground conditions encountered during mining were conducive to a successful paste backfill.

Drilling and blasting on the next planned stope in the Alphabet area of the ES zone is in progress and is expected to yield 20 000 t of ore by the end of October.

The Nevada Copper workforce has more than doubled to over 200 employees over the last year with the most significant additions in technical roles as well as mining and process teams.