Nevsun Increased Q2 Copper Output to 5.7m Pounds

Effective zinc and copper separation strategy yields 36% more copper concentrate production in Q2
After continuously working on strategies to better separate zinc and copper into their respective circuits, Nevsun has reported a 36% increase in copper concentrate production at its Bisha mine.

BY MINING WEEKLY and NEVSUN

Base metals producer Nevsun Resources has reported a strong recovery of copper concentrate production, lifting second-quarter output to 5.7-million pounds.

It is a sharp recovery for the Eritrea-focused company, which resorted to producing a bulk zinc/copper concentrate late last year owing to plant issues at the Bisha mine.



The June-quarter performance reflected a 36% improvement over the first quarter this year.

Zinc-in-concentrate produced during the June-period fell 17% quarter-over-quarter to 43-million pounds.

This was mainly attributable to a 10% drop in head grades and zinc recoveries temporarily decreased as the company placed more effort on improving copper recoveries, which had some impact on downstream zinc flotation.

Nevsun advised that Bisha continues to work on strategies to better separate zinc and copper into their respective circuits.

Massawa copper concentrate export terminal
Copper and zinc concentrates are shipped from Bisha Mine to the Massawa Port in sealed containers carried by well-maintained trucks, then goods and supplies are transported to site on the return trip (whenever possible). There were 11,729 one way trips in 2016.

Bisha Operating Highlights During Q2 2017

• Produced 5.7 million pounds of copper in copper concentrate

• Produced 43.0 million pounds of zinc in zinc concentrate

• Sold 7.7 million payable pounds of copper in copper concentrate

• Sold 34.3 million payable pounds of zinc in zinc concentrate

• Improved copper recovery to 51.6% from 34.0% during Q1 2017

Bisha Q2 2017 Operating Details

Bisha produced approximately 43.0 million pounds of zinc during Q2 2017.  Zinc production decreased by 8.9 million pounds or 17% from the prior quarter as head grades decreased by 10% and zinc recoveries temporarily decreased as the Company placed additional effort on improved copper recoveries which had some impact on downstream zinc flotation.



Bisha continues to work on strategies to better separate zinc and copper into their respective circuits.

Bisha produced approximately 5.7 million pounds of copper during Q2 2017.  Copper production increased by 1.5 million pounds or 36% from the prior quarter as copper recoveries increased to 52%, despite a 10% decrease in head grade.

The Company amended its Q1 2017 production statistics to reclassify previously reported bulk concentrate production to copper concentrate.  This reclassification was the positive result of selling a good portion of the bulk concentrate on copper concentrate terms in the second quarter.  In addition, Q1 2017 production statistics were also amended to reflect book-to-physical adjustments from the first quarter production reconciliation.

“We have a strong team of world-class consultants supporting Bisha. Management remains focused on moving toward the original plant design by further enhancing recoveries and concentrate quality as quickly as possible,” stated Peter Kukielski.

A full strategic update, quarterly financial results, Bisha mineral reserve update and Timok project update will be reported Wednesday, August 9, 2017 per the news release dated June 27, 2017.