VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 26, 2012) - Nevada Copper Corp. (TSX:NCU) ("Nevada Copper") is very pleased to announce that Senator Dean Heller of Nevada has introduced "The Yerington Land Conveyance and Sustainable Development Act" (the "Yerington Bill") into the United States Senate. This legislation directs the sale of Federal Lands located near Yerington, Nevada, administered by Bureau of Land Management ("BLM"), to the City of Yerington. These Federal Lands surround and encompass private patented and unpatented claims that are held by Nevada Copper.
Senator Heller's press release can be viewed at: http://heller.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ID=fbe0aa35-7452-4bb2-9376-2f62f95f6854
The Yerington Bill was introduced into the United States House of Representatives on February 15, 2012 by Congressman Mark Amodei of the Second Congressional District of Nevada, along with original co-sponsors Congresswoman Shelley Berkley and Congressman Joe Heck. Congressman Amodei is currently working towards scheduling a hearing in the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands for the Yerington Bill. As a result of the introduction of the Yerington Bill in the Senate, a Senate subcommittee hearing date will also be scheduled.
Giulio Bonifacio, President & CEO commented: "We have made substantial progress to date on the Yerington Bill in the House and Senate and we are encouraged by the strong political support we have received at the federal, state, and local levels. We look forward to continuing to build momentum in this process such that we have received all the permits necessary for the large, integrated open pit and underground mining project in 2013."
Tim Dyhr, Vice President Environment and External Relations also commented: "We very much appreciate Senator Heller introducing this bill into the Senate. We look forward to support from Senator Heller and anticipate timely committee hearings in both the House and Senate which will allow us to move this bill through Congress."
Senator Heller and Congressman Amodei have been consulting with the City and Nevada Copper for several months to address all of the technical aspects of this Federal land disposition, including assessing any potential impacts to natural resources and other land uses.
Various studies to support the land disposition are in progress. To date, interim results confirm that there are no adverse effects to any natural resources, including wilderness, Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, prime or unique farmlands, cultural resources, wildlife (including sage grouse, critical winter range or nesting raptors), riparian areas, surface water resources and rangeland resources. The area receives only five inches (12.7 cm) of rainfall per year and is composed of very low productivity salt-desert scrub habitat with no sagebrush. This type of ecological zone occupies hundreds of thousands of acres in Lyon County.
Until such time as the outcome of the Congressional process for Yerington Bill is clear, Nevada Copper intends to follow two parallel permitting tracks:
- The Nevada State process; and
- The federal BLM process. The BLM permitting will continue until such time that it is clear to management that the land bill will be enacted.
Nevada Copper will also complete State permitting for an underground mine at the East deposit located entirely on private lands. Shaft sinking on the East deposit commenced in February under currently-held permits.
Nevada Copper completed its Pumpkin Hollow Feasibility Study in January 2012. The remaining permitting inputs required from groundwater studies, tailings and mine rock storage designs are mostly in hand or nearing completion. The permitting-related studies are to the same standard for either of the permitting processes above.
State of Nevada Water Pollution Control and Reclamation permit applications and local permits with the City and/or Lyon County are currently being finalized with submission of applications anticipated in May 2012. Permit review by State and local entities would run concurrent with progress of the Yerington Bill in Congress.
Receipt of permits is anticipated in the first quarter of 2013 for the underground mine operation and integrated open pit and underground operation assuming passage of the Yerington Bill and closing of the land acquisition by the City of Yerington.
With regard to water rights, Nevada Copper has previously obtained rights covering 100% of its anticipated Pumpkin Hollow project water needs. Notably, the entire project area is outside of irrigated lands in Mason Valley. Detailed studies have demonstrated that groundwater in the mine project area is not hydraulically connected to the alluvial aquifers in Mason Valley and project operations will not impact that important aquifer.
More detail on the Yerington land acquisition proposal was presented in the Nevada Copper News Release dated February 16, 2012 and available on the corporate website at www.nevadacopper.com and at the project website at www.pumpkinhollowcopper.com.
NEVADA COPPER CORP.
Giulio T. Bonifacio, President & CEO
We seek safe harbor.