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Nevada Copper continues preparing for the restart of processing operations at its Pumpkin Hollow underground mine, in the US, which is planned for the third quarter, subject to revision based on impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and other factors.

The miner also said on Tuesday that it had identified further new zones of copper mineralisation in further expanded land holding.Operations were suspended owing to the impact of Covid-19, but despite this, considerable progress was still made with the company’s accelerated mine plan.

The accelerated mine plan includes the completion of main shaft deepening to the final depth of 2 131 ft. The shaft changeover to production configuration has started and is tracking on schedule installation of permanent ore handling system at the main shaft headframe, which is also tacking on schedule.Nevada Copper also reported further increases in rates of lateral development and expedited excavation of key underground infrastructure in preparation to shift focus to development of stope inventory, and a further increase of ore stockpile ahead of the process plant restart, sitting at over 114 000 t as of May 31.

Further, phased remobilisation of plant personnel has started, and preparations are ongoing for the restart of processing operations, which are targeted for August.

The miner also entered into a long-term mining contract with Redpath USA Corporation, which has been working at Pumpkin Hollow since January 2020 under the previously announced interim services agreement.

The signing of the long-term mining contract between Nevada Copper and Redpath further cements their long-term operating relationship, according to the statement.