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Nevada Copper Awards a 66,000-Foot Underground Lateral Development Contract to Small Mine Development

Nevada Copper Corp. (“Nevada Copper” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide additional details on the previously announced award of a 66,000-foot underground lateral development contract with US-based Small Mine Development, LLC (“SMD”).  SMD began mobilization activities on May 10, 2023.   

Randy Buffington, President & CEO, commented, “We are very pleased to award this contract to SMD, who have a strong reputation for safe and productive development in Nevada hard rock mines. Partnering with SMD is an effective way to ensure we have the ore stopes available to achieve and maintain our planned steady state production rate of approximately 5,000 tons per day.”

Key Components of Development Contract

  • 66,000 feet of lateral capital development over a 24-month contract period;
  • Delivery of fully developed ore stopes in 2023 to restart and maintain nameplate milling operations (approximately 5,000 tpd); and
  • Unit rate agreement for development and associated services to align SMD and Nevada Copper for success on this key restart deliverable.

Nevada Copper will self-perform stope mining in addition to managing ore and waste handling and underground stope ground support services, allowing each group to focus within their specific expertise.

Development and Capital Projects Progress

We have either substantially completed or well advanced various debottlenecking projects that were previously defined as key for a successful ramp-up to steady state, including:

  • Construction of the vent shaft is complete, and the surface fans have been commissioned.
  • Ore pass 2 rehabilitation is complete, increasing materials handling flexibility and decreasing material re-handle.
  • Vertical excavation of the coarse ore bin is complete, and excavation of the conveyor drift is in progress.
  • Underground electrical infrastructure is in place to support the development contractor’s ventilation requirements.
  • A key ventilation raise in the 2798 level is in progress and expected to be completed by the end of May 2023. This ventilation raise is critical to providing air circulation to all active areas of the mine.
  • Installation of the monorail is complete for the underground dewatering system (Geho project).
  • Ongoing lateral development is well advanced beyond the first and second dike crossings into the EN Zone and continues to demonstrate competent ground conditions, as anticipated by the model.
  • Non-critical path third dike crossing continues to be advanced with completion planned in Q2 2023.

About SMD

​​​​​​​SMD is a US-based and well-respected underground development contractor with significant experience in underground mining in the United States, and particularly in Nevada. With approximately 650 employees in the United States and a full complement of available mining equipment, SMD is well positioned to support Nevada Copper’s underground development goals.

Qualified Persons

The technical information and data in this news release has been reviewed by Steven Newman, Registered Member – SME, Vice President, Technical Services for Nevada Copper, and Greg French, C.P.G., VP Exploration of Nevada Copper, who are non-independent Qualified Persons within the meaning of NI 43-101.


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