VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 05/28/13 -- Nevada Copper Corp. (TSX: NCU) ("Nevada Copper" or "Company") is pleased to announce the following update on its State permits for its 100% owned Pumpkin Hollow Property located near Yerington, Nevada.
Status of State Permits
State permitting of the Stage 1 underground project continues to advance on schedule. As previously announced (See News Release, May 7, 2013), the draft reclamation permit was published by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection ("NDEP") on May 1, 2013.
On May 2, 2013 the NDEP provided their final technical comments on the application to modify Nevada Copper's current Water Pollution Control Permit 2008103 ("WPCP"). That permit was issued in 2008 and granted permission to develop the 2,200-foot deep, 24-foot inside diameter, production-sized shaft that is currently well underway. This modification will permit construction and operation of the Stage 1 underground mine, process facilities mill and dry stack tailings storage facility ("DSTSF") all located entirely on private lands. Two comments were received from NDEP regarding specific Schedule of Compliance ("SOC"). Nevada Copper and NDEP quickly agreed on permit conditions addressing those comments, which were related to the DSTSF and underground paste backfill.
Timothy M. Dyhr, Vice President of Environment and External Relations stated: "Nevada Copper has consistently stated that this project will meet the highest environmental performance standards. The Company plans to dewater the tailings with pressure filters prior to placement of the dewatered tailings, commonly referred to as "dry stack" tailings, in the permanent tailings storage facility. This results in high reuse of water and will result in a 65% reduction in net water consumption for our operations in an area where water supply is limited and the lifeblood of the agricultural industry in Mason Valley."
Nevada Copper has developed and submitted the specific plans for the two SOC items requested by NDEP. The first SOC item outlines testing and measurement of performance of an initial 25-acre test cell of the actual DSTSF. This test cell will be constructed with a synthetic liner to demonstrate the efficacy of filtering, stacking and to monitor the moisture content and draindown, if any, of actual tailings. In addition, the Company will install a smaller (4-5 acre) test cell constructed on a low permeability compacted tailings base and in this cell will also allow for monitoring moisture content and seepage, if any, into the native soils below the compacted tailings base. This information will verify the results of the unsaturated flow model provided in the permit application. This model showed minimal changes in moisture below the DSTSF and no impact to groundwater lying 300 feet below the land surface.
The second SOC item is to provide additional laboratory testing of the cemented paste backfill in advance of operations. Nevada Copper had already planned to conduct additional testing as part of the shaft development and bulk sampling program. These tests will be performed in accordance with standardized test methods (American Society of Testing Materials or ASTM 1308) on paste backfill to fully characterize the paste backfill and assure that they will not degrade groundwater quality. In addition, Nevada Copper has been conducting groundwater monitoring since 2007 and will expand and continue that program throughout the life of the project.
Pumpkin Hollow will be the first implementation of a dry stack tailings project in the State of Nevada - a practice that is becoming more common throughout the world in water-scarce areas. In addition to the water conservation benefits, dry stacking also potentially eliminates the need for a synthetic liner (subject to the test cell demonstration noted above), eliminates the need to manage drain-down of mine-affected water entrained in the tailings after completion of operations, reduces the risks of a dam and tailings impoundment in a high seismicity area, reduces the land area required for tailings storage by over 50%, and facilitates concurrent reclamation of the tailings storage facility.
For our air quality permit, the emissions inventory for this permit was submitted on May 6, 2013 and is currently being reviewed by the NDEP Bureau of Air Quality ("NDEP-BAQ"). Pumpkin Hollow will be a minor source of particulate emissions (dust) and the analysis shows that the project will meet ambient air quality standards. There is no mercury or other hazardous air pollutants associated with the project. An air quality dispersion model has been developed and once the emissions inventory and model have been deemed adequate by NDEP-BAQ, a public notice for that permit will issued later in May 2013.
At the county level, the application to modify the Lyon County Special Use Permit ("SUP") was submitted on May 10, 2013. The SUP application is scheduled for a hearing with the Lyon County Planning Commission on June 11, 2013, and for approval by the Lyon County Board of County Commissioners on June 20, 2013. Nevada Copper has been coordinating with Lyon County since 2007 to both assure compliance and good relations on existing operations and to plan for mine development going forward. The interactions with Lyon County and the City of Yerington to address economic, social and environmental aspects of the Pumpkin Hollow project have been transparent, constructive and collaborative since Nevada Copper initially began working with them in 2007.
Nevada Copper also provides the following update on Lyon County Economic Development and Conservation Act ("Lyon County Bill"), House Bill H.R. 696 and Senate Bill S. 159. On May 20, 2013, the Nevada State Assembly passed Senate Joint Resolution 14 (SJR14) unanimously (39-0) urging passage of the Lyon County Bill. SJR14 passed in the Nevada State Senate unanimously (21-0) on April 15, 2013. The bill now has unanimous support with Lyon County, The City of Yerington, the entire Nevada Congressional Delegation, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, and support from Mayors of Reno and Sparks, Nevada, the Nevada Association of Counties (NACO), Friends of Nevada Wilderness and business leaders in Northern Nevada.
Nevada Copper announces the resignation of Brian Kirwin as a director of the Company. We thank Mr. Kirwin for his many years of service which were of great value to the growth and development of the Company. Mr. Kirwin is reducing his directorships in order to focus on his other business interests.
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.
Nevada Copper Corp.
VP, Investor Relations & Communications
604-683-8266 or Toll free: 1-877-648-8266
Nevada Copper Corp.
Robert McKnight, P.Eng., MBA
Executive Vice President & CFO
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