Nevsun Resources Ltd. (TSX:NSU / NYSE MKT:NSU) is pleased to announce strong production results of 313,000 ounces [8,873 kg] of gold for 2012 with 46,000 ounces in the quarter ended December 31, 2012. Gold production for 2012 exceeded the top end of the latest guidance.
Bisha gold production is again extended and is now anticipated to continue to the end of Q2 2013, aligning well with the planned commissioning of the copper expansion project.
- Produced 313,000 ounces of gold in 2012, exceeding the top end of guidance
- Gold production forecast extended to the end of Q2 2013
- Copper expansion managed on schedule and budget for mid-2013 commissioning
- Continued peer leading semi-annual dividend of $0.05 per share
- Increased resource and reserve estimates from 2011/2012 drilling
- Obtained the Harena deposit mining license and commenced mining
- Strong exploration drill results extended drilling program at Northwest Zone
- Acquired the Mogoraib exploration license including the Hambok historical resources
Q4 2012 HIGHLIGHTS
- Produced 46,000 ounces of gold in Q4 2012
- Processed 447,000 tonnes of ore at 3.85 g/t gold
- Overall metallurgical recoveries at 84% of contained gold
|Q4 20123 months ending
|Q3 20123 months ending
|Q2 20123 months ending
|Q1 20123 months ending
|201212 months ending
|Ore mined, tonnes||426,000||316,000||500,000||349,000||1,591,000|
|Waste mined, tonnes||2,602,000||2,590,000||1,659,000||1,826,000||8,677,000|
|Strip ratio, (calc in BCM’s)||7.1||10.3||4.0||6.2||7.4|
|Cu phase prestrip, tonnes||–||–||481,000||739,000||1,220,000|
|Ore milled, tonnes||447,000||465,000||465,000||430,000||1,807,000|
|Feed grade, g/t||3.85||7.40||6.93||6.58||6.21|
|Recovery % of gold||84%||87%||85%||86%||86%|
|Gold in doré, ounces poured||46,000||98,000||87,000||82,000||313,000|
The mine performed well in the fourth quarter. The majority of fresh ore was mined from the low grade areas of the Harena satellite pit and Bisha Main pit. Clean up and selective mining of the Bisha Main acid and transition ores continues. Waste mining to expose copper supergene and push-back the northeast (NE) hill remained on plan. The NE push-back has exposed additional gold bearing oxide ores on the periphery of the pit that will be accessed in H1 2013 while opening the pit for additional supergene ores later in the mine plan.
The mill was on plan for recovery despite blending ultra-high grade Bisha Main transition ores with lower and sub-grade Harena and other stockpiled ores. The ore remains highly variable and is carefully managed to avoid losses to tailings.
The continued metallurgical performance and additional ore have allowed Bisha to extend gold production to the end of Q2 2013, aligning well with the commissioning of the copper expansion.
Nevsun will announce its 2013 production guidance later in January 2013, with a conference call to follow.
COPPER EXPANSION UPDATE:
The copper plant expansion continues to progress on schedule and budget with concentrate production expected in mid-2013.