Nevsun Resources Ltd. (TSX: NSU) (NYSE MKT: NSU) is pleased to announce the updated mineral resource estimates effective December 31, 2016, for the Bisha, Harena and Asheli deposits in Eritrea. These updated resources form the first part of the annual year end mineral resource and mineral reserve statement for 2016. The updated mineral reserve estimate, currently in-progress, should be released in late May or early June 2017.
- Increased Harena Inferred resources by nearly 130% to 25 million tonnes grading 0.93% copper, 4.76% zinc, 0.8 g/t gold and 31 g/t silver
- Harena remains open with further drilling ongoing in 2017
- Maiden Inferred resource for Asheli totalling 2.4 million tonnes grading 1.86% copper, 8.59% zinc, 0.4 g/t gold, and 30 g/t silver
- Additional targets immediately along strike of Asheli presently being evaluated
- Increased Bisha district Inferred resources by over 100% to 31 million tonnes containing 667 million pounds copper, 3.3 billion pounds zinc, 780 thousand ounces gold, and 30 million ounces silver
- Measured and Indicated resources of 38 million tonnes containing 869 million pounds copper, 3.5 billion pounds zinc, 710 thousand ounces gold and 41 million ounces silver
Cliff Davis, Nevsun CEO, commented, “Our 2016 regional exploration program built on 2015 successes adding over 1.1 billion copper equivalent pounds of inferred resources. Harena, in particular, continues to increase in size and has growing underground mining potential to extend the mine life at Bisha. Our exploration drilling was also successful in defining a new massive sulphide resource at Asheli, further highlighting the prospectivity of the Bisha District to host additional resources.”
Mr. Davis went on to say, “Nevsun, alongside our Eritrean partner, ENAMCO, continues to invest in regional exploration at Bisha with the ongoing objective to significantly increase the mine life of our operation.”
Tables 1.1 to 1.7 containing the complete mineral resource estimates for each deposit are appended at the end of this release. Copper equivalent is calculated by dividing contained zinc by 2.5 and adding to contained copper.
For the Timok project in Serbia, resources are the same as previously disclosed in the 2016 Preliminary Economic Assessment and will be updated when the Upper Zone project pre-feasibility study is published in September 2017.
In 2016, 6,080 metres of new drilling was completed at Harena continuing to extend the deposit to depth where it remains open. The inferred resource at Harena grew to over 25 million tonnes from 11 million tonnes the year earlier, for an additional 162 million pounds of copper, 1,668 million pounds of zinc, 280 thousand ounces of gold and 10.2 million ounces of silver. New metallurgical testing found the expected recovery for zinc to be 85%, an improvement on the previous recoveries of 72% after testing with a more representative set of material. Drilling continues at Harena in an effort to expand the deposit to depth.
Asheli was discovered in June 2015 by Bisha as part of the Regional Exploration Program. In 2016, 12,918 metres of drilling was completed in 28 holes resulting in the definition of a new inferred resource of 2.4 million tonnes containing 98 million pounds of copper and 455 million pounds of zinc. Importantly, Asheli’s average grade of 1.9% copper and 8.6% zinc is higher than either Harena or Bisha’s primary sulphide grade. Drilling continues in the Asheli area following up on encouraging mineralization recently discovered 200 metres north of the main deposit.
At Bisha, 11,770 metres of drilling in 21 holes was completed in 2016 testing the deposit below the proposed ultimate pit. This work has determined the down dip extent of the deposit. Considerable additional diamond drill core and reverse circulation drilling for production and metallurgical test work was also completed which has improved our understanding of the zonation, composition and recovery of the various ore types. Measured and Indicated resources including stockpiles at Bisha now stand at 23.4 million tonnes containing 529 million pounds of copper, 2,836 million pounds of zinc, 560 thousand ounces of gold and 34 million ounces of silver, a small decrease mostly due to mining depletion.