THE Bisha Mining Share Company, which is 60% owned by TSX-listed miner Nevsun, is expected to produce between 160-million and 175-million pounds of copper in concentrate this year.
This was lower than the 196-million pounds of copper in concentrate the company produced in 2014 against guidance of 180-million to 200-million pounds.
The company said on Thursday that the 2015 guidance was based on processing almost 2.3-million tonnes of ore from the Bisha Main pit, averaging about 3.9% copper feed grade.
“Following a very strong 2014 year from both an operating and financial perspective, Nevsun is looking forward to another year of exceptional production with strong free cash flow and earnings from Bisha in 2015.
“For organic growth, we plan to aggressively explore the Bisha volcanogenic massive sulphide district to again further expand our resources and reserves. In addition, and in parallel, we are actively evaluating potential merger or acquisition opportunities to grow and diversify Nevsun’s cash flow,” CEO Cliff Davis said in a statement.
He added that the company expected its C1 cash cost for the year to be $1.20/lb to $1.40/lb.
“Our budget assumptions include diesel fuel prices of $1.13/ ℓ and by-product revenues based on $1 100/oz of gold and $15/oz of silver.”
However, Nevsun expected to improve on these assumptions, as a result of the successful regional exploration programme in 2014. The company planned to announce a revised mineral resource estimate in coming weeks.
In terms of exploration, Nevsun aimed to spend a further $10-million in the coming year.
The company’s exploration aims would include the expansion and upgrading of the Harena resource through drilling, drilling high-priority targets at depth and on strike from Bisha Main and continued testing of high-priority greenfield targets on the Mogoraib River exploration licence.
The company expected to drill in excess of 25 000 m during the year.