Canada-based copper ores company Nevada Copper has commenced production at Pumpkin Hollow copper project in Lyon County, Nevada, US.

The company has stated that the project is the first new copper producer in the US in over a decade.

Nevada Copper announced that the first shipment of concentrate and first revenues are expected in upcoming weeks and ramp-up to full-scale commercial production at the Pumpkin Hollow underground mine is in progress through the first half of 2020.

The company reported a strong and growing production profile with 65 million lbs of annual copper equivalent production with material further expansion potential.

Pumpkin Hollow boasts an initial mine life of 13.5 years of reserves, with extension potential from inferred resources estimated at 636m tonnes.

It hosts the only processing facility in an important re-emerging copper district.

Nevada Copper president and CEO Matthew Gili said: “This is a transformational moment for Nevada Copper, and I want to thank our team, construction and finance partners for their dedication throughout this process.

“Considering the construction decision was made only sixteen months ago, it is a remarkable achievement to have reached this point on schedule and it speaks to the commitment of our team and the support of our shareholders and stakeholders.

“Commencement of production is monumental for Nevada Copper, but is just the first key milestone for the Company.

“Pumpkin Hollow has multiple avenues for growth, including an advanced-stage, large-scale open pit project and our significant regional exploration targets.”

Pumpkin Hollow copper project details

The Pumpkin Hollow project involves the development of 5,000 tonnes per day (tpd) underground mine as well as a 70,000tpd open pit and underground Integrated Project.

For the development of the project, the company had signed contracts with Cementation USA and CIMIC Group’s Sedgman USA.

Pre-construction activities at the underground project had started in May 2018.

The company had engaged nearly 250 employees, contractors and subcontractors on-site as of mid-February.