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January 23, 2013
08:11 EDTNSUNevsun Resources sees producing 80K-90K oz gold at Bisha in 1H13
Nevsun Resources announced its 2013 outlook for planned gold and copper production from the Bisha mine in Eritrea. The Bisha mine is operated by Nevsun's 60% owned subsidiary Bisha Share Mining Company, or BMSC. Nevsun expects that BMSC will complete copper expansion project construction on time and on budget. As of now, approximately 80% of the forecasted project expenditures of $125M had been spent, ordered or arranged. On cessation of gold production in mid-2013, BMSC will commence copper concentrate production and optimization of the new facilities. During ramp up, BMSC plans to produce 60M-80M pounds of copper in concentrate in H2 2013 through processing nearly 900K tonnes of ore from Bisha Main pit averaging 5.2% copper feed grade. Based on the mine plan, the copper will be contained in 100K-120K tonnes of concentrate exceeding 30% copper grades. 2014 will be a full year of copper production and is expected to be in the order of 200M pounds of copper. As previously disclosed, BMSC will conclude gold production during the first half of 2013 as reserves will be depleted. Prior to conclusion BMSC plans to produce 80K-90K ounces of gold during the first half of 2013 through processing 800K tonnes of remaining oxide ores from Harena and Bisha Main pits at a combined 3.7 grams per tonne. Nevsun expects cash costs per gold ounce will increase significantly compared with the first half of 2012 as a result of lower feed grades, longer haul distances, more mined material and more drill and blast consumables. After the conclusion of gold production BMSC will de-commission and retain the carbon-in-leach plant so it can be put back into operation should Nevsun's regional exploration efforts yield more oxide deposits. Nevsun has expanded its exploration drilling program at the Northwest Zone as mineralization continues along strike to the northeast. The objective is to complete drilling and release an initial NI 43-101 resource in the second half of 2013. At the recently acquired Hambok deposit on the Mogoraib exploration license, Nevsun plans to commence drilling to confirm the historic resource, while updating the geological and resource models. Nevsun will also drill test already identified high priority targets on the Mogoraib exploration license and new targets on the Bisha mining license.
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