Nevada Copper—Near-Term Production of Large-Scale Copper Project in Nevada
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Nevada Copper (TSX:NCU) owns the Pumpkin Hollow copper project in Nevada, US – one of the world’s top-rated mining jurisdictions. Pumpkin Hollow is one of only two large-scale copper projects in the US that is fully permitted and under construction. Initial production is expected in Q4, 2019. The property hosts two deposits – one underground and one open pittable. Nevada Copper is fully-funded through to production and anticipates entering a copper market during a time of looming supply deficits.
Nevada Copper is run by a management team of highly-experienced mine builders, led by Matt Gili. The team is supported by a Board of Directors that includes Tom Albanese, former CEO of Rio Tinto, and Ernie Nutter, former managing director of RBC Capital Markets. The company is also supported by a number of institutional investors.
The property’s two copper-gold-silver assets are outlined in the company’s 2017 NI43-101 Technical Report, which includes a 5,000 ton per day prefeasibility study (PFS) for an underground operation and a 70,000 ton per day PFS for an open-pit and underground mining operation. An updated PFS is expected in H1, 2019.
The company has re-engineered the underground development to reduce CAPEX and bring the project into production faster. Importantly, Nevada Copper also has a fixed-price EPC contract in place with its largest contractors, which greatly reduces CAPEX risk.
The open pit development plan has also undergone re-engineering to similarly lower capital costs as well as following a “margin over tonnes” approach with an early focus on the high-grade mineralization.
Both the underground and open pit developments have significant growth potential. A 2018 drill program focused on the open pit, encountered mineralization in all 26 holes. Importantly, it intersected mineralization in areas that were previously classified as waste rock.
The company also provides monthly construction updates on their projects which can be found here.
- US-based copper project in Nevada is expected to enter production in Q4, 2019
- Fully-funded through to production of underground mine
- Underground project post tax NPV (5 percent) of US$301 million and IRR of 25 percent
- More than 5 billion pounds of contained copper
- Underground production revenue could be used to help fund open-pit operations
- Underground mine construction is on time and on budget
- Staged expansion potential for the open-pit deposit.
- Updated PFS for open-pit forthcoming in Q1, 2019.
- Exceptional management team with notable experience in building mines, permitting, financing and operating large mining projects
- Significant expansion and exploration upside for both the underground and open pit deposits
Pumpkin Hollow Copper Project
The Pumpkin Hollow project is an advanced-stage, fully-permitted copper property with resources and reserves that also include gold, silver and iron. The project measures 10,680 acres and is located five miles away from Yerington, Nevada, a town with a history of copper mining. As such, the project has easy access to existing infrastructure, low cost of power and strong support from the nearby community.
The Pumpkin Hollow project was first discovered in 1960 by US Steel, using airborne magnetic surveys. Leading up to 2001, 180,000 meters were drilled by previous owners and managers of the project, leading to the discovery of large copper and magnetite resources. Up until that time, a number of economic studies were also conducted alongside vast metallurgical, geotechnical and geophysical studies.
In 2005, Nevada Copper acquired the property and has since completed a further 180,000 meters of drilling and complementary ground work to support permitting and feasibility efforts. They also published four separate NI 43-101-compliant resource estimates, a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) in 2008 and three separate feasibility studies.
In August, 2018, the Company formally announced its construction decision for the underground mine with the goal of completion by Q4, 2019.
Matt Gili — President, CEO and Director
Matt Gili has over 20 years of experience in the mining industry, having served in a variety of senior executive roles at Barrick and Rio Tinto. During his 15-year career with Rio Tinto, his appointments included Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Resource Strategy for the Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia, Managing Director of Palabora Mining Company in South Africa, and Mine Manager at Greens Creek, Alaska. Prior to joining Nevada Copper, he was with Barrick for the last five years. Gili holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mining Engineering from University of Idaho and an Idaho professional engineer certification.
Phillip Day — COO
Phillip Day has significant project delivery and operating experience, and brings key project management skills required to advance the Underground Project into construction phase. His project construction experience includes senior roles with AMEC Americas, where he managed a number of major projects, including the brownfields expansion of Corrego do Sito Gold Project and the $1 billion Gramalote gold study for AngloGold Ashanti. Previously he worked in managerial, operational and technical roles for BHP Billiton and WMC Resources as well as commissioning and operation of the Minara Resources Murrin Murrin Nickel Laterite project. He is presently Head of Technical and Operations at Pala Investments.
Abraham (Braam) Jonker – CFO
Mr. Jonker is a registered Chartered Accountant in British Columbia (Canada), England and Wales as well as South Africa. He is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants in the United Kingdom and holds a Master’s Degree in South African and International Tax from the Rand Afrikaans University. Mr. Jonker has more than 20 years of extensive management, accounting and corporate finance experience across five continents, mostly in the mining industry. Mr. Jonker currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Golden Reign Resources and is Lead Independent Director of the Board of Directors of Mandalay Resources Corporation. Mr. Jonker was Chief Financial Officer of Western Coal Corporation at the time of its take-over by Walter Energy for $3.3 billion. During his career Mr. Jonker has played a pivotal role in several business recoveries, has been a key team member at management level in the strategic growth of several public companies, has raised and overseen the raising of more than $500 million in the form of equity and debt instruments and has been involved in corporate transactions aggregating several billion dollars.
Mark Wall – CCO
Mark Wall has over 22 years of experience in the mining industry, most recently as Senior Vice President & Operations Officer for Barrick Gold Corporation where he was responsible for coordinating all aspects of Barrick’s portfolio of operations. He has significant experience in operations, risk management and sustainability. During his 12 years at Barrick, he served as General Manager for the Veladero operations in Argentina, Barrick’s Vice President of non-financial assurance activities (Environment, Safety & Health, Maintenance, Technical Services, Community Relations and Security) and other senior roles. He also served on the Executive Committee of Australia’s largest open-pit gold mine, a joint venture between Barrick and Newmont.
Prior to joining Barrick, Wall worked with Placer Dome Inc. and Western Mining Corporation. He holds various degrees and qualifications, including a Master of Business Administration, Master of Management, Masters Certificate in Risk Management & Business Performance, Diploma of Project Management and Diploma of Mineral Processing.
Greg French — VP Exploration and Project Development
Greg French is a geologist with over 25 years of exploration experience in the Western US and Canada. He has worked in various capacities for Homestake Mining Co, Atlas Precious Metals and Cornerstone Industrial Minerals as well as consulting for numerous junior mining companies. He has a Nevada gold discovery to his credit and extensive project development experience including two projects taken through feasibility and production.
David Swisher – VP Operations
David Swisher is a qualified professional mining engineer with over 23 years’ experience developing and operating both underground and open pit mines. He has held various senior operating roles at various mines in North America and overseen the development of numerous mining projects globally. Most recently, he was Mine Manager at the East Boulder Mine in Montana for Sibanye-Stillwater.
Timothy M. Dyhr — VP Environment and External Relations
Timothy Dyhr has 35 years of experience in mining. He has led multidisciplinary teams to successfully permit copper and gold mines in Nevada since 1983, and worked on projects in Arizona, California, Washington, Montana, Wyoming, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Australia, Africa, Turkey, China and Papua New Guinea. His experience includes environmental, regulatory, land and legal affairs; and government, media, NGO and public relations. He has worked as a mine site environmental manager, environmental consultant, natural resources manager, and group environmental manager for BHP Copper.
Rich Matthews – VP Investor Relations and Marketing
Rich Matthews is an experienced investor marketing professional with a strong background in the resource sector. He has run the global IR for a multiple-award-winning exploration company, a top-50 TSX-V exploration company and several other resource companies. Rich has built up an international team comprised of investor relations, public relations and digital marketing professionals, which has enabled him to deliver numerous successful investor marketing programs. He also maintains a strong financial marketing network across North America and Europe.
Catherine Cox – Corporate Secretary
Catherine Cox has over 15 years of experience in the management and administration of public companies in the resource sector, including extensive experience in public company governance and regulation. She has served as Corporate Secretary to Nevada Copper since 2005. Prior to her role as a Corporate Secretary, she was a paralegal for a US law firm specializing in corporate and securities law. Cox holds a Bachelor degree from the University of British Columbia.
Robert McKnight — Executive VP Concentrate Sales and Logistics
Robert McKnight is a Professional Engineer and MBA with over 30 years of experience in the resource business with a wealth of knowledge in project finance, mergers and acquisitions, feasibility studies and valuations. He is a geological engineer with broad experience in the mining industry having held senior roles with Brascan Resources, Wright Engineers, Getty Resources, TOTAL S.A., Endeavour Financial, Pincock Allen & Holt Ltd., AMEC, Yukon Zinc and most recently Selwyn Resources. He is a graduate of the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University with degrees in Geological Engineering and Business Administration.
Stephen Gill – Non-Executive Chairman
Stephen Gill is a Managing Partner at Pala Investments Ltd. He has been at Pala since 2008 and has been involved in many of Pala’s principal investments covering a range of commodities, as well mining services and consumables sectors. He has also supported many of Pala’s investee companies in defining and implementing strategic initiatives. He is also involved in the oversight of Pala’s liquid investment strategies portfolio.
Prior to joining Pala, Gill was at AMEC Plc., an engineering consulting firm, where he advised on a range of natural resources transactions, and acted as an advisor across a range of private equity transactions, including investments in businesses spanning mining, metals processing and mining consumables manufacturing industries. He has acted as a director on a number of private and public mining company boards.
Tom Albanese – Lead Independent Director
Tom Albanese is currently a Director of Franco-Nevada Corporation. He was previously CEO and a Director of Vedanta Resources plc and Vedanta Limited from 2014 to 2017. He was CEO of Rio Tinto plc from 2007 to 2013, and previously served on the Boards of Ivanhoe Mines Limited, Palabora Mining Company and Turquoise Hill Resources Limited. He holds a Master of Science degree in Mining Engineering and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mineral Economics both from the University of Alaska Fairbank.
G. Ernest “Ernie” Nutter – Director
Ernest Nutter is a highly regarded mining analyst, formerly with one of the world’s largest money managers, Capital Group, from 2004 until his retirement in 2017. Prior to this, he spent over 13 years with the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) where he was Managing Director of RBC Capital Markets, Director of RBC’s Global Mining Research team and former Chairman of RBC Dominion Securities’ (now RBC Capital Markets) Strategic Planning Committee. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from Dalhousie University.
Lucio Genovese – Director
Lucio Genovese has 28 years of experience in the merchant and financial sectors of the metals and mining industry. He is the CEO of Nage Capital Management in Baar, Switzerland. He is also Chairman of Firestone Diamonds plc and a member of the board of Mantos Copper S.A., Ferrous Resources Limited, Ferrexpo AG and Nevada Copper Inc. He was previously employed at Glencore International AG where he held several senior positions including CEO of the CIS region and manager of the Moscow office. Genovese is a Chartered Accountant and has a B.Comm and B.Acc from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (South Africa).
Michael Brown – Director
Michael Brown is Managing Director, Technical and Operations at Pala Investments AG, the exclusive advisor to Pala Investments Holdings Ltd., a multi-strategy investment company dedicated to investing in, and creating value across, the mining sector in both developed and emerging markets. Pala seeks to assist companies in which it has long-term shareholdings by providing strategic advice and innovative financing solutions.
Prior to joining Pala, Brown worked for De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. where in his role as COO, he was responsible to the CEO and Board for all operations in South Africa, including production at five mines, the planning and execution of construction projects, strategic business development and health, safety and environmental control. He previously held the position of Head of Strategic Business Development at De Beers, where he was responsible for the full-value chain from resource evaluation to strategic business planning, concept studies, feasibility studies and project implementation. He managed a number of major projects, including the $750 million Finsch block 5 feasibility study, the $1.3 billion Venetia underground mine pre-feasibility study; the $35 million Venetia resource extension project, and a $200 million construction project at Voorspoed.
Evgenij Iorich – Director
Evgenij Iorich has over 15 years of investment and asset management experience and is currently Managing Partner at Pala Investments Ltd. His commodity experience extends across a broad range of bulk commodities, as well as precious and base metals. He has worked with a number of Pala’s portfolio companies, including Peninsula Energy, Sierra Rutile and Asian Mineral Resources, on a range of strategic initiatives, M&A opportunities, operational and financial planning and structuring. He is a director of Peninsula Energy and Serinus Energy. Prior to joining Pala in 2006, Iorich held senior roles at Mechel. He graduated from the University of Zurich with a Masters of Arts degree.
Justin Cochrane – Director
Justin Cochrane is the President and COO of Cobalt 27 Capital Corp. and has over 16 years of royalty and stream financing, M&A and corporate finance experience. Prior to Cobalt 27, he served as Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Development for Sandstorm Gold Ltd. for five years. At Sandstorm, he was responsible for the structuring, negotiation and execution of over $500 million in royalty and stream financing contracts around the world, across dozens of projects.
Prior to Sandstorm, he spent nine years in investment banking and equity capital markets with National Bank Financial where he covered the resource, clean-tech and energy technology sectors. In addition, Cochrane is currently a board member of Duke Royalty Limited. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a registered and licensed security advisor in Canada.
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