Nevada Copper Corp.
TSX : NCU

Nevada Copper Corp.

March 31, 2011 08:01 ET

Nevada Copper Updates Mineral Resource Estimate and Clarifies Technical Disclosure

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 31, 2011) - Nevada Copper Corp. (TSX:NCU) ("Nevada Copper" or the "Company") is pleased to announce it has completed a National Instrument ("NI") 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate for its 100% owned Pumpkin Hollow Property in Nevada. This mineral resource estimate was updated for purposes of preparing a Definitive Feasibility Study ("DFS") which is currently in progress and scheduled for completion by June 30, 2011. The mineral resource estimate includes the results of the 50,000 meters of resource delineation drilling program completed in 2010 that focused on upgrading and defining the Measured and Indicated ("M&I") mineralization. Additionally, and as a result of a continuous disclosure review conducted by the British Columbia Securities Commission (the "Commission"), Nevada Copper also wishes to clarify certain of its previous disclosure as described below.

The completed updated mineral resource estimate was prepared by the mineral resource and mining division of Tetra Tech Inc., an industry leading international engineering firm and received by Nevada Copper on January 17, 2011. Management of the Company determined at that time that, while the updated mineral resource was a milestone towards the completion of its DFS, in the context of an update to the mineral resource it was not considered to be material to the Company because the overall global in-situ copper mineral resource and grades (in all categories) had not significantly changed from the previous resource estimate, although tonnage in the estimate had moved towards the M&I mineral resource categories - as had been anticipated and was disclosed previously. The 2010 drilling was focused primarily on mineralized areas within the previous Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") mine designs and not on resource expansion. While the mineral resource categories within the mine design areas were upgraded, the mineralized shapes and tonnage did not materially change. As a result of the continuous disclosure review by the Commission, it was decided that the updated mineral resource, while not material, should be disclosed prior to publication of the results of the DFS.

The following are highlights of the new mineral resource estimate, compared to the previously published July 2009 resource estimate (see resource tables below for details on tonnage and grade):

  • At a 0.20% cutoff the M & I copper resource for the entire project increased to 5.9 billion pounds (2009 - 5.6 billion pounds) including an increase in gold to 1.6 million ounces (2009 - 983,000 ounces) and an increase in silver to 42 million ounces (2009 - 33.8 million ounces);
  • At a 0.20% cutoff the Inferred copper resource for the entire project remain unchanged at 3.7  billion pounds (2009 - 3.7 billion pounds) including an increase in gold to 716,000 ounces (2009 -468,000 ounces) and an increase in silver to 21.8 million ounces (2009 - 21.2 million ounces);
  • At a 0.20% cutoff the M & I copper resource for the Western Deposits increased to 3.8 billion pounds (2009 - 3.1 billion pounds) including an increase in gold to 892,000 ounces (2009 - 532,000 ounces) and an increase in silver to 23.8 million ounces (2009 - 20.9 million ounces);
  • At a 1.00% cutoff the M & I copper resource for the Eastern Deposits increased to 1.17 billion pounds (2009 - 1.1 billion pounds) including an increase in gold to 351,000 ounces (2009 - 180,000 ounces) and an increase in silver to 8.2 million ounces (2009 - 4.4 million ounces);

The detailed project-wide resource summary is as follows:

MEASURED RESOURCES        
  Cutoff Grade
Tons
Avg Grade Contained
Lbs Cu
Avg Grade
Au_oz
Avg Grade
Ag_oz
Category (%Cu) (000) (%Cu) (000) Au opt (000) Ag opt (000)
Measured 0.20 155,898 0.59 1,853,025 0.003 520 0.076 11,823
Measured 0.30 107,657 0.74 1,601,521 0.004 398 0.090 9,684
Measured 0.75 34,279 1.35 928,652 0.007 230 0.147 5,046

INDICATED RESOURCES


Category
Cutoff Grade
(%Cu)

Tons
(000)
Avg Grade
(%Cu)
Contained
Lbs Cu
(000)
Avg Grade
Au opt

Au_oz
(000)
Avg Grade
Ag opt

Ag_oz
(000)
Indicated 0.20 375,144 0.54 4,041,006 0.003 1,119 0.080 30,167
Indicated 0.30 245,171 0.70 3,411,501 0.004 872 0.097 23,706
Indicated 0.75 68,809 1.30 1,782,967 0.006 390 0.160 11,009

MEASURED AND INDICATED RESOURCES


Category
Cutoff Grade
(%Cu)

Tons
(000)
Avg Grade
(%Cu)
Contained
Lbs Cu
(000)
Avg Grade
Au opt

Au_oz
(000)
Avg Grade
Ag opt

Ag_oz
(000)
M&I Total 0.20 531,042 0.55 5,894,031 0.003 1,639 0.079 41,990
M&I Total 0.30 352,828 0.71 5,013,022 0.004 1,270 0.095 33,390
M&I Total 0.75 103,088 1.32 2,711,619 0.006 620 0.156 16,055

INFERRED RESOURCES


Category
Cutoff Grade
(%Cu)

Tons
(000)
Avg Grade
(%Cu)
Contained
Lbs Cu
(000)
Avg Grade
Au opt

Au_oz
(000)
Avg Grade
Ag opt

Ag_oz
(000)
Inferred 0.20 495,129 0.37 3,670,391 0.001 716 0.044 21,779
Inferred 0.30 228,707 0.52 2,374,870 0.002 368 0.048 10,932
Inferred 0.75 26,871 1.31 701,405 0.002 56 0.064 1,723
* Tonnage, grades and totals may not total due to rounding.

In considering the cutoff grades in table above, it should be noted that the cutoff grades for the Eastern deposits and the Western deposits will not be the same due to differing proposed mining methods and costs. The cutoff grade ranges in the resource tables below are specific to the likely cut-off grades applicable to each of the individual deposits. Tetra Tech is currently preparing an economic analysis to determine appropriate cut-off grades to be used for the DFS mining plans. Tetra Tech has suggested, on a preliminary basis, that the copper cut-off grade in the DFS for the Western deposits is likely to be between 0.15% and 0.20% and between 0.75% and 1.00% for the Eastern deposits.

The M & I mineral resource summary by deposit areas is as follows:

MEASURED AND INDICATED RESOURCES - WESTERN DEPOSITS


Category
Cutoff Grade
(%Cu)

Tons
(000)
Avg Grade
(%Cu)
Contained
Lbs Cu
(000)
Avg Grade
Au opt

Au_oz
(000)
Avg Grade
Ag opt

Ag_oz
(000)
Measured 0.30 88,997 0.64 1,144,204 0.003 230 0.071 6,356
Measured 0.20 136,540 0.51 1,391,417 0.003 344 0.062 8,458
Measured 0.15 173,417 0.43 1,507,947 0.002 410 0.058 10,012
                 
Indicated 0.30 160,158 0.59 1,877,817 0.002 320 0.064 10,311
Indicated 0.20 275,303 0.44 2,432,205 0.002 551 0.056 15,305
Indicated 0.15 383,945 0.37 2,803,327 0.002 652 0.051 19,677
                 
M & I Total 0.30 249,155 0.60 3,022,021 0.002 550 0.067 16,667
M & I Total 0.20 411,843 0.46 3,823,622 0.002 892 0.058 23,763
M & I Total 0.15 557,362 0.39 4,311,274 0.002 1,061 0.053 29,689
INFERRED RESOURCES - WESTERN DEPOSITS


Category
Cutoff Grade
(%Cu)

Tons
(000)
Avg Grade
(%Cu)
Contained
Lbs Cu
(000)
Avg Grade
Au opt

Au_oz
(000)
Avg Grade
Ag opt

Ag_oz
(000)
Inferred 0.30 101,028 0.56 1,132,104 0.001 132 0.044 4,491
Inferred 0.20 242,048 0.38 1,815,712 0.001 242 0.038 9,255
Inferred 0.15 385,299 0.30 2,288,414 0.001 385 0.039 14,960
 
MEASURED AND INDICATED RESOURCES - EASTERN DEPOSITS


Category
Cutoff Grade
(%Cu)

Tons
(000)
Avg Grade
(%Cu)
Contained
Lbs Cu
(000)
Avg Grade
Au opt

Au_oz
(000)
Avg Grade
Ag opt

Ag_oz
(000)
Measured 1.00 9,206 1.81 333,324 0.011 104 0.240 2,205
Measured 0.75 12,497 1.56 390,372 0.010 128 0.216 2,699
                 
Indicated 1.00 24,338 1.72 835,589 0.010 247 0.245 5,971
Indicated 0.75 38,092 1.40 1,069,452 0.008 321 0.213 8,118
                 
M & I Total 1.00 33,544 1.74 1,168,913 0.010 351 0.244 8,176
M & I Total 0.75 50,589 1.45 1,459,824 0.009 449 0.213 10,817
 
INFERRED RESOURCES - EASTERN DEPOSITS


Category
Cutoff Grade
(%Cu)

Tons
(000)
Avg Grade
(%Cu)
Contained
Lbs Cu
(000)
Avg Grade
Au opt

Au_oz
(000)
Avg Grade
Ag opt

Ag_oz
(000)
Inferred 1.00 4,926 1.45 143,313 0.002 10 0.101 498
Inferred 0.75 12,098 1.11 267,533 0.002 24 0.065 792
* Tonnage, grades and totals may not total due to rounding.

Iron Resources

Nevada Copper has also updated its standalone estimate of the iron resource at Pumpkin Hollow. Nevada Copper is continuing to assess the commercial viability of the large iron by-product found within and contiguous to the copper-gold-silver deposits at Pumpkin Hollow.

The following tables express only those iron resources amenable to open-pit mining methods in the Western deposits:

IRON RESOURCES WESTERN DEPOSITS
Category Iron % Cutoff Tons
(000s)
Iron Grade
%
Tons Iron
(000s)
Measured 20 205,836 34.57 71,162
Measured 30 123,627 41.14 50,857
         
Indicated 20 135,062 29.56 39,926
Indicated 30 53,740 37.88 20,356
         
M&I Total 20 340,898 32.59 111,088
M&I Total 30 177,367 40.15 71,213
         
Inferred 20 29,769 25.6 7,613
Inferred 30 3,429 36.1 1,239
* Tonnage, grades and totals may not total due to rounding.

The database for the updated mineral resource now consists of over 600 drill holes containing in excess of 270,000 meters (885,000 feet) of drilling and over 65,000 assays. The 2010 program consisted of 96 resource, hydrological, and geotechnical holes that totaled over 54,000 meters (177,000 feet).

Gregory French, Vice President, Senior Project Manager, CPG, M.Sc., commented, "The 2010 drilling program proved to be successful in upgrading and defining the M&I mineralization. The new resource also better defines the mineralization which will aid in the underground and open pit mine designs. Our 2011 drilling program totaling 20,000 meters will now focus on resource step-out and expansion drilling. This program is designed to follow up on the newly discovered deep mineralization in the North Deposit, several open areas of mineralization adjacent to the existing resources, and test other targets identified within our large land position."

Continuous Disclosure Review and Clarification

As a result of a continuous disclosure review conducted by the British Columbia Securities Commission, the Company wishes to clarify certain of its previous disclosure.

With respect to the NI 43-101 PEA Update on the Pumpkin Hollow Project, Lyon County Nevada, United States (the "Report"), prepared by Tetra Tech dated January 13, 2010, the Company wishes to confirm that the qualified person who was responsible for the preparation of the Report was John W. Rozelle, P.G.. Additionally the disclosure of the historic mineral resource estimates in the Report were compiled before the implementation of NI 43-101 reporting standards and are not compliant with NI 43-101 and should have included cautionary language required by NI 43-101. Accordingly, the Company wishes to caution investors that these are estimates of an historic nature for reference only, and should not be relied upon. The Report and certain of the Company's previous written disclosure included inferred resources in the M&I categories. The term "potentially mineable resources" was also used in the Report and was intended to describe that portion of Measured, Indicated resources and Inferred resources that are included in a mining plan as specifically provided for under s2.3 (3) of NI 43-101. However the term "potentially mineable resources" is not a recognized category of mineral resources under NI 43-101 and readers of such previous disclosure should be aware of the context of its usage.

In certain of the Company's previous written disclosure the Company has disclosed the results of the PEA completed on the Pumpkin Hollow project in 2008 and 2010, which include an inferred mineral resource, without including the required cautionary language. Accordingly, in all such disclosure, investors should be aware that a PEA is preliminary in nature, and includes inferred mineral resources which are considered speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that will enable them to be categorized as mineralized reserves, and there is no certainty that the PEA will be realized.

Qualified Person

The updated mineral resource estimate work was performed by or under the direction of John Rozelle, PG, Tetra Tech's Mineral Resource Division Principal Geologist an independent Qualified Person as set forth by Canadian National Instrument 43-101. The Pumpkin Hollow project is under the supervision of Gregory French, CPG #10708, an internal Qualified Person as defined in Canadian National Instrument 43-101, who is responsible for the preparation of other 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

This news release includes certain statements that may be deemed "forward-looking statements". All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts, including the likelihood of commercial mining, possible future copper grades, recoveries and production rates, and possible future financings are forward-looking statements. Although Nevada Copper believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include unsuccessful exploration results, changes in metals prices, changes in the availability of funding for mineral exploration, unanticipated changes in key management personnel and general economic conditions. Mining is an inherently risky business. Accordingly the actual events may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. For more information on Nevada Copper and the risks and challenges of its business, investors should review Nevada Copper's annual filings that are available at www.sedar.com.

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