Yerington's Pumpkin Hollow Mine shutting down

These giant winches lift buckets of ore from the bottom of the shaft at Pumpkin Hollow.

These giant winches lift buckets of ore from the bottom of the shaft at Pumpkin Hollow.

A Yerington copper mine is laying off 117 workers after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Nevada Copper Corp., the owner of the Pumpkin Hollow Mine in Yerington, filed a petition in U.S. Federal District Court in Reno on Monday.

The layoffs are expected to occur Aug. 9, according to filings with the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

The company was seeking funding or a change of control transaction.

“However, those discussions have failed to result in obtaining such funding or other transaction, and the company has been unable to secure additional interim funding from its key stakeholders,” according to a June 10 statement. “As a result, the company is unable to continue carrying on business.”

It has been a decade since a federal lands bill was approved to transfer 10,400 acres of land to the City of Yerington to facilitate the development of the mine. At the time, the company said it was investing almost $400 million on its first stage and another $1 billion on its second.

In its bankruptcy filing the company is asking for permission to pay employee salaries and wages, and to continue other benefit programs regardless of whether amounts were owing prior to the commencement of the case.

It reported it has received $60 million in financing to restructure with $20 million available in the interim.

“Through the restructuring process, the company does not expect to continue operations, but does intend to take steps to preserve and protect its assets,” according to the statement. “The company plans to conduct its activities as a ‘debtor in possession’ under the jurisdiction of the Bankruptcy Court and in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Bankruptcy Code and the orders of the Bankruptcy Court.”

The company also announced the appointment of Tom Albanese as chairman of its board of directors and the resignation of President & Chief Executive Officer Randy Buffington.


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