Nevada Copper Corp.
TSX : NCU

Nevada Copper Corp.

May 25, 2011 07:30 ET

Nevada Copper Steps Out and Drills 126 Feet of 1.26% Copper/Definitive Feasibility Update

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 25, 2011) -Nevada Copper Corp. (TSX:NCU) ("Nevada Copper") is pleased to announce additional positive step out drill results at the 100% owned Pumpkin Hollow Property located in Nevada. The holes reported below represent assay results from the current 20,000 meter step out and expansion drilling program.

Drill Hole NC11-09 was drilled in the East Deposit to follow up the possible extension of high grade mineralization to the southwest where much of the previous drilling consisted of pre-collared holes that never intersected the targeted mineralized zones. Drill hole NC11-09 was successful in extending and confirming the continuity of high grade mineralization intersecting two large zones; 126.0 feet (38.4 meters), averaging 1.26% copper, 0.306 grams gold and 5.8 grams silver and 71.8 feet (21.9 meters), 78.7 feet averaging 1.72% copper, 0.322 grams gold and 6.3 grams silver. Intercepts represent true thickness. Follow up drilling is currently being planned.

Four holes were drilled in the North Deposit. Two holes were drilled along portions of the proposed north pit and two targeted mineral expansion. Drill Hole NC10-77 was successful in expanding mineralization along the eastern boundary of the deposit where mineralization is still open. Drill Hole NC11-02 was drilled to define the shallow up dip extensions found along the northern edge of the deposit.

NC-GT10 and GT12 geotechnical holes were drilled along the north and northeast portions of the open-pittable North Deposit. NC10-GT10 drilled to collect geotechnical data along the proposed north pit wall, intersected the deeper mineralization. The hole intersected 192.0 feet (58.5 meters), 71.9 feet (21.9 meters) true thickness averaging 0.75% copper plus associated gold and silver values (see table below). The results from NC10-GT12 confirmed existing mineralization along the northeast portion of the deposit.

EAST DEPOSIT – Assays greater than 0.75% Cu

Drill Hole #

From
(m)

To
(m)

Length
(m)

Length
(ft)
True
Length
(m)

Copper
(%)

Gold
(g/t)

Silver
(g/t)

Fe
(%)
NC11-09539.5551.712.240.012.21.040.0911.58.2
640.1646.26.120.06.11.960.1672.814.8
660.9685.821.971.821.91.720.3226.315.7
734.6773.038.4126.038.41.260.3065.810.6
NORTH DEPOSIT – Assays greater than 0.2% Cu

Drill Hole #

From
(m)

To
(m)

Length
(m)

Length
(ft)
True
Length
(m)

Copper
(%)

Gold
(g/t)

Silver
(g/t)

Mo
(%)
NC10-77275.5289.514.046.014.00.430.0491.30.001
302.4317.014.648.014.60.940.1232.50.001
NC10-GT10527.3585.858.5192.021.90.750.0462.50.003
NC10-GT12182.9195.112.240.08.61.050.1036.40.011
272.8283.510.735.07.60.420.0642.4<0.001
317.0329.212.240.08.61.460.1547.4<0.001
455.7470.915.250.010.70.300.0531.10.002
NC11-0266.473.16.722.05.10.810.0230.6<0.001
172.4177.14.715.53.60.51<0.0011.00.002

Gregory French, Vice President, Senior Project Manager, CPG, M.Sc., commented, "Drilling in the East and North Deposits continue to expand mineralization. Mineralization remains open down dip and along the eastern boundary of the North Deposit. Drill Hole NC11-09 was drilled as a step out to begin testing an area that has had limited drilling. This step out hole intersected the mineralized zone resulting in a thicker intercept than expected. Expanding the mineralization to the southwest is expected to have a positive effect on future development designs."

A cross section will be made available at www.nevadacopper.com.

Definitive Feasibility Study ("DFS")

The DFS being prepared by Tetra Tech was targeted for completion by June 30, 2011 will now be released prior to the end the third quarter. Additional time is required for geotechnical testing, detailed engineering on Phase 1 and Phase 2, and the sequencing of the ore and waste rock streams from the North and South open pits.

Results from DFS-related technical studies have identified additional opportunities to optimize:

  • the location and configuration of process facilities,
  • the design and placement of the underground cemented paste backfill facilities
  • the placement of dewatered tailings;
  • the design of water supply pipeline from the City of Yerington, and
  • closure planning to reduce the requirement for posting reclamation bonds throughout the life of the project

In addition, ground water studies have concluded that less than expected quantities of groundwater inflows can be anticipated. This has positive implications for shaft construction, as well as underground and open pit mining during operations.

As previously disclosed, Nevada Copper is planning a phased project development build-out. This takes advantage of an accelerated permitting timeline and earlier production from an initial underground operation resulting from its location entirely on private, patented claims. The Phase 1 Underground mine and mill operation will be a "stand alone" project that is not dependent upon subsequent development phases.

The subsequent Phase 2 development involves a separate process plant fed by ore from the two adjacent North and South open pits. This requires additional environmental design, amendments to local and State permits, and Federal approvals (see below). This phased plan means that the stand-alone underground project could be in operation in early 2014 while additional environmental studies are performed to secure Federal approvals for Phase 2.

It is anticipated that Phase 1 operations will generate early cash flows that will provide additional project capital financing options for Phase 2 development and construction.

Phase 1 - Underground Operation on Private Patented Land

  • Phase 1 development plan includes a nominal 7,500 ton per day underground operation with ore feed from the high grade East and E2 underground deposits. Phase 1 mining and milling rates will be optimized and determined as part of the DFS.
  • Phase 1 operation is highly attractive because of its small environmental footprint with the development contained entirely within private patented mining claims - requiring no Federal permits. This phase would require State and County permits and result in faster permitting and earlier initial copper production. Final permits for the Phase 1 development are expected to be received by the third quarter of 2012.
  • Ore from the East and E2 deposits will be transported to surface by two vertical shafts - one to each of the deposits, which will also be linked underground by a conveyor-equipped decline. The current configuration allows for the early access to the ore zones, maximizes operational flexibility and minimizes the potential for cost overruns due to any adverse near-surface ground conditions.

Phase 2 - Open Pit Mine/Mill on Private and Bureau Land Management ("BLM") Land

  • Phase 2 expansion includes a 60,000 tons per day open pit operation with a separate mill facility with grind size optimized for maximum copper recovery from the open pit ores. Phase 2 mining and milling rates will be optimized and determined as part of the DFS. The mining sequence will likely start with pre-stripping of the North Deposit and later move towards the coincident mining of both the North and South Deposits.
  • Phase 2 would require BLM Plan of Operations and an Environmental Impact Statement since the project would extend onto unpatented claims held by Nevada Copper on BLM lands. Phase 2 development timeline allows for more time for detailed engineering and environmental design associated with the larger open pits, mine rock storage facilities, tailings storage facilities and the groundwater studies needed to support County, State and Federal permitting.

    Phase 2 approvals are expected to be received approximately 27 months after submission of a complete BLM Plan of Operations. The BLM Plan of Operations is targeted for submission by Q3 of 2012.

Giulio Bonifacio, President and Chief Executive Officer commented, "The step-out expansion drilling program continues to produce positive results and we are pleased with the results to date. While these results will not be incorporated into our DFS the initial drilling in the targeted areas as referenced in our April 12thpress release have proved very successful to date. We are also pleased with the progress on the DFS albeit modestly delayed. Our phased approach will be extremely beneficial from a permitting and project capital perspective as it will allow us to achieve early production and self-funding in part for Phase 2 project capital."

The Pumpkin Hollow drilling program is under the supervision of Gregory French, CPG #10708, and a Qualified Person as defined in Canadian National Instrument 43-101, who along with Robert McKnight, P.Eng. are responsible for the preparation of the technical information in this news release. All assaying and whole rock geochemistry is processed at the American Assay Laboratories (AAL) in Reno, Nevada. Samples are delivered from the project core logging facility to AAL by Nevada Copper or AAL personnel. A Quality Assurance and Quality Control Assay Protocol have been implemented whereby blanks and standards are inserted into the assay stream and check samples are sent to Chemex-Reno and Inspectorate-Reno laboratories.

For additional information about Nevada Copper please visit our website at www.nevadacopper.com.

NEVADA COPPER CORP.

Giulio T. Bonifacio
President & CEO

We seek safe harbour.

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