Nevsun Resources Ltd. (TSX:NSU / NYSE MKT:NSU) is pleased to advise that the Bisha Mine zinc expansion project (the “Project”) is on schedule and well under budget. The Project is on-track for ore commissioning in mid-Q2 2016 (May – June) and commercial production later in 2016.
The Project enables processing of the primary copper-zinc-gold-silver ore at up to 2.4 million tonnes per year, producing both copper and zinc concentrates from the existing copper flotation and new zinc flotation plants.
Based on the current open pit mine plan, Nevsun expects Bisha to produce on average 225 million pounds of zinc and 53 million pounds of copper in concentrate per year through 2025.
As previously announced, Nevsun will release the 2016 Outlook in the second week of February 2016.
The forecasted total cost will be approximately $80 million, significantly under the budget of $100M.
* Zero lost time injury incidents to date on the zinc expansion
* Significantly under budget with estimated cost now $80 million
* On schedule for ore commissioning mid Q2 2016 with zinc plant over 90% complete
Detailed Zinc Expansion Project Progress
The Project is proceeding well on health and safety performance. The Project maintains a zero lost time injury status, with zero environmental non-conformances.
Overall the Project is over 90% complete. All major equipment and materials have been delivered to site and procurement activities are limited to site based orders and amendments. The structural, mechanical, piping and plate work is 98% progressed. The electrical and instrumentation installation is well advanced. The power upgrade from Aggreko has been completed. The search and selection process for the commissioning team for the Project has nearly been completed. Cold commissioning has commenced in certain areas. Primary ore commissioning is planned for mid Q2 2016.
Zinc Concentrate Bulk Handling Update
As the total tonnage of copper and zinc concentrate produced going forward is expected to be similar to total copper concentrate quantities in 2015, there is no need for additional transport or shipping infrastructure upgrades.
The existing Rotainer trucking and loading system continues to operate safely, efficiently and in an environmentally sound manner.