Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 21:20 EDT

NovaCopper Files NI 43-101 Technical Report for the Preliminary Economic Assessment on the Arctic Open-Pit Polymetallic Project

September 12, 2013


Symbol: NCQ

VANCOUVER, Sept. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – NovaCopper Inc. (TSX, NYSE-MKT: NCQ) (“NovaCopper” or the “Company”) is pleased to
announce that it has filed a National Instrument 43-101 (“NI 43-101″)
technical report (the “Report”) titled “Preliminary Economic Assessment
Report on the Arctic Project, Ambler Mining District Northwest Alaska.”
The effective date of this report is September 12, 2013. The PEA was
prepared by Tetra Tech of Vancouver, Canada, and describes the
potential technical and economic viability of establishing a
conventional open-pit mine-and-mill complex for the Arctic
Copper-Zinc-Lead-Silver-Gold Project (the “Project”). The base case
scenario utilizes long-term metal prices of $2.90/lb for copper,
$0.85/lb for zinc, $0.90/lb for lead, $22.70/oz for silver and
$1,300/oz for gold. The PEA was prepared on a 100% ownership basis and all amounts are
stated in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted

Highlights of the PEA( )study were as follows:

        --  Initial capital expenditure of $717.7 million and sustaining
            capital of $164.4 for total estimated capital expenditures of
            $882.1 million over the estimated 12-year mine life. In
            addition, closure and reclamation costs are estimated at $81.6
        --  Pre-tax Net Present Value (NPV)8% of $927.7 million calculated
            at the beginning of the two-year construction period and an
            Internal Rate of Return ("IRR") of 22.8% for the base case.
        --  After-tax NPV8% of $537.2 million and after-tax IRR of 17.9%
            for the base case.
        --  Estimated, pre-tax, payback of initial capital in 4.6 years and
            5.0 years after-tax.
        --  Minimum 12-year mine life supporting a maximum 10,000
            tonne-per-day conventional grinding mill-and-flotation circuit
            to produce copper, zinc and lead concentrates containing
            significant gold and silver by-products.
        --  Life of mine strip ratio of 8.39 to 1.
        --  Average annual payable production projected to be 125 million
            pounds of copper, 152 million pounds of zinc, 24 million pounds
            of lead, 29,000 ounces of gold and 2.5 million ounces of silver
            for life of mine. On a copper equivalent basis, equates to 210
            million pounds of copper per year.
        --  A capital intensity ratio on initial capital of $6,995 per
            tonne of average annual copper produced.
        --  Estimated cash costs of $0.62/lb of payable copper (C1 cash
            costs include on-site mining and processing costs, road tolls,
            transport, royalties and is net of by-product credits).
        --  Total "all-in" cash costs (initial/sustaining capital,
            operating, transportation, treatment and refining charges, road
            toll, and by-product metal credits) estimated at $1.26/lb of
            payable copper.

The Company is not aware of any environmental, permitting, legal, title,
taxation, socio-political, marketing or other issue which may
materially affect this estimate of mineral resources. The projections,
forecasts and estimates presented in the PEA constitute forward-looking
statements and readers are urged not to place undue reliance on such
forward-looking statements. Additional cautionary and forward-looking
statement information is detailed at the end of this press release.

“With the Report for Arctic open-pit now filed, our current priority is
to focus on the areas with maximum potential for improvement in the
economics of the Project,” said Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse, NovaCopper’s
President and Chief Executive Officer. “Specifically, we will be
assessing the viability of using liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) in place
of diesel as a source of power generation at Arctic. A recently
released feasibility study, prepared by the Alaska Industrial
Development Export Authority, suggested that the use of LNG should lead
to substantial power cost reductions. Under that scenario, a
stand-alone liquefaction plant would be constructed on the North Slope
of Alaska from where LNG would be trucked to Fairbanks and other
interior markets of the State. We will also be evaluating ways of
enhancing the economics of the Project by employing a larger mining
fleet in the initial years of operation and/or stockpiling lower-grade
material. Although the filed PEA demonstrates a solid return on
investment, I believe there are a lot of opportunities to further
improve the economics of the Project.”

Qualified Persons and NI 43-101 Technical Report

The PEA was completed by Tetra Tech and has been incorporated in a
National Instrument 43-101 compliant Technical Report which is now
available on SEDAR and Edgar and on the Company’s website at www.novacopper.com.

    |Qualified Person                |Scope of Responsibility             |
    |John Huang, Ph.D., P.Eng.       |Mineral Processing and Metallurgical|
    |Tetra Tech                      |Testing, Recovery                   |
    |                                |Methods, Market Studies and         |
    |                                |Contracts, and Operating            |
    |                                |Costs for Processing,  Surface      |
    |                                |Services and G&A                    |
    |Michael F. O'Brien, M.Sc.,      |Mineral Resource Estimates          |
    |Pr.Sci.Nat, FGSSA, FAusIMM,     |                                    |
    |FSAIMM                          |                                    |
    |Tetra Tech                      |                                    |
    |Sabry Abdel Hafez, Ph.D., P.Eng.|Mining Methods, Mining Operating    |
    |Tetra Tech                      |Cost Estimate,                      |
    |                                |Economic Analysis                   |
    |Mike Chin, P.Eng.               |Infrastructure                      |
    |Tetra Tech                      |                                    |
    |Graham Wilkins, P.Eng.          |Infrastructure                      |
    |EBA                             |                                    |
    |Hassan Ghaffari, P.Eng.         |Infrastructure, Water Treatment,    |
    |Tetra Tech                      |Construction Camp                   |
    |                                |Accommodation, Communications       |
    |Marvin Silva, Ph.D., P.Eng.     |Tailings Storage Facility and       |
    |Tetra Tech                      |Management Costs                    |
    |Jack DiMarchi, CPG              |Environmental Studies, Permitting,  |
    |Tetra Tech                      |and Social or                       |
    |                                |Community Impact                    |
    |Harvey Wayne Stoyko, P.Eng.     |Capital Cost Estimate               |
    |Tetra Tech                      |                                    |

Qualified Person

Erin Workman, Director of Technical Services for NovaCopper Inc., is a
Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.  Ms. Workman
has reviewed the technical information in this news release and
approves the disclosure contained herein. Sabry Abdel Hafez, Ph.D.,
P.Eng. Jianhui Huang, Ph.D., P.Eng., Michael F. O’Brien, M.Sc.,
Pr.Sci.Nat, FGSSA, FAusIMM, FSAIMM, Hassan Ghaffari, M.Sc., P.Eng., and
H. Wayne Stoyko, P.Eng. of Tetra Tech, have also reviewed the technical
information in this news release and approve the disclosure contained
herein as Qualified Persons as defined by National Instrument 43-101.

About NovaCopper

NovaCopper Inc. is a base metals exploration company focused on
exploring and developing the Ambler mining district in Alaska.  It is
one of the richest and most-prospective known copper-dominant districts
located in one of the safest geopolitical jurisdictions in the world.
It hosts world-class VMS deposits that contain copper, zinc, lead, gold
and silver, and carbonate replacement deposits which have been found to
host high-grade copper mineralization. Exploration efforts have been
focused on two deposits in the Ambler district – the Arctic VMS deposit
and the Bornite carbonate replacement deposit. Both deposits are
located within NovaCopper’s land package that spans approximately
143,000 hectares. NovaCopper has an agreement with NANA Regional
Corporation, Inc. (NANA), an Alaskan Native Corporation that provides a
framework for the exploration and potential development of the Ambler
mining district in cooperation with the local communities. Our vision
is to develop the Ambler mining district into a premier North American
copper producer.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes certain “forward-looking information” and
“forward-looking statements” (collectively “forward-looking
statements”) within the meaning of applicable Canadian and United
States securities legislation including the United States Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than
statements of historical fact, included herein, without limitation,
statements relating to the future operating or financial performance of
NovaCopper and the Project, are forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements are frequently, but not always, identified
by words such as “expects”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “intends”,
“estimates”, “potential”, “possible”, and similar expressions, or
statements that events, conditions, or results “will”, “may”, “could”,
or “should” occur or be achieved. These forward-looking statements may
include statements regarding perceived merit of properties; exploration
results and budgets; mineral reserves and resource estimates; work
programs; capital or operating expenditures; timelines; market prices
for precious and base metals; or other statements that are not
statements of fact. Forward-looking statements involve various risks
and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will
prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ
materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors
that could cause actual results to differ materially from NovaCopper’s
expectations include the uncertainties involving the need for
additional financing to explore and develop properties and availability
of financing in the debt and capital markets; uncertainties involved in
the interpretation of drilling results and geological tests and the
estimation of reserves and resources; the need for cooperation of
government agencies and native groups in the development and operation
of properties; the need to obtain permits and governmental approvals;
risks of construction and mining projects such as accidents, equipment
breakdowns, bad weather, non-compliance with environmental and permit
requirements, unanticipated variation in geological structures, ore
grades or recovery rates; unexpected cost increases, which could
include significant increases in estimated capital and operating costs;
fluctuations in metal prices and currency exchange rates; and other
risk and uncertainties disclosed in NovaCopper Inc.’s Annual Report on
Form 10-K dated February 12, 2013, filed with the Canadian securities
regulatory authorities, the United States Securities and Exchange
Commission and in other NovaCopper reports and documents filed with
applicable securities regulatory authorities from time to time.
NovaCopper’s forward-looking statements reflect the beliefs, opinions
and projections on the date the statements are made. NovaCopper assumes
no obligation to update the forward-looking statements or beliefs,
opinions, projections, or other factors, should they change, except as
required by law.

Cautionary Note to United States Investors

The PEA has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the
securities laws in effect in Canada, which differ from the requirements
of U.S. securities laws. Unless otherwise indicated, all resource and
reserve estimates included in the PEA have been prepared in accordance
with National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral
Projects (“NI 43-101″) and the Canadian Institute of Mining,
Metallurgy, and Petroleum Definition Standards on Mineral Resources and
Mineral Reserves. NI 43-101 is a rule developed by the Canadian
Securities Administrators which establishes standards for all public
disclosure an issuer makes of scientific and technical information
concerning mineral projects. Canadian standards, including NI 43-101,
differ significantly from the requirements of the United States
Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), and resource and reserve
information contained therein may not be comparable to similar
information disclosed by U.S. companies. In particular, and without
limiting the generality of the foregoing, the term “resource” does not
equate to the term “reserves”. Under U.S. standards, mineralization may
not be classified as a “reserve” unless the determination has been made
that the mineralization could be economically and legally produced or
extracted at the time the reserve determination is made. The SEC’s
disclosure standards normally do not permit the inclusion of
information concerning “measured mineral resources”, “indicated mineral
resources” or “inferred mineral resources” or other descriptions of the
amount of mineralization in mineral deposits that do not constitute
“reserves” by U.S. standards in documents filed with the SEC. Investors
are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of mineral deposits in
these categories will ever be converted into reserves. U.S. investors
should also understand that “inferred mineral resources” have a great
amount of uncertainty as to their existence and great uncertainty as to
their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or
any part of an “inferred mineral resource” will ever be upgraded to a
higher category. Under Canadian rules, estimated “inferred mineral
resources” may not form the basis of feasibility or pre-feasibility
studies except in rare cases. Investors are cautioned not to assume
that all or any part of an “inferred mineral resource” exists or is
economically or legally mineable. Disclosure of “contained ounces” in a
resource is permitted disclosure under Canadian regulations; however,
the SEC normally only permits issuers to report mineralization that
does not constitute “reserves” by SEC standards as in-place tonnage and
grade without reference to unit measures. The requirements of NI 43-101
for identification of “reserves” are also not the same as those of the
SEC, and reserves reported by the Company in compliance with NI 43-101
may not qualify as “reserves” under SEC standards. Accordingly,
information concerning mineral deposits set forth in the PEA may not be
comparable with information made public by companies that report in
accordance with U.S. standards.


SOURCE NovaCopper Inc.

Source: PR Newswire