Nevsun Produces 2,500Kg of Gold in Q2, Granted Harena Mining License

The lower grade Harena gold oxide ore will be blended with the higher grade Bisha oxide to maximize overall gold production

By Nevsun,

Nevsun Resources Ltd.(TSX:NSU / NYSE Amex:NSU) is pleased to announce strong production results of 87,000 ounces of gold for the quarter ending June 30, 2012 [April-June].

Gold production in the quarter was above expectations due to higher than anticipated grades in portions of the transitional oxide zone. We reiterate our revised full year 2012 production guidance of 240,000 to 260,000 ounces of gold production however will re-evaluate in August when reviewing the full quarter financial results with the added benefit of observing July actual mining results.

SECOND QUARTER (Q2) 2012 HIGHLIGHTS

  • Produced 87,000 ounces of gold (169,000 ounces year-to-date)
  • Mined 500,000 tonnes of ore at 6.04 g/t gold
  • Harena mining license granted by State of Eritrea
  • Copper plant expansion on plan for mid-2013 commissioning
  • Nevsun continues review of acquisition opportunities

A summary of the Company’s second quarter operating results are as follows:

 Q2 2012
3 months ending
June 30
Q1 20121
3 months ending
March 31
Year-to-Date 2012
Six months ending
June 30
Mining
Ore mined, tonnes500,000349,000849,000
Mined grade, g/t6.044.715.49
Waste mined, tonnes1,658,5001,826,2003,484,700
Strip ratio4.06.24.9
Copper phase prestrip, tonnes480,600739,0001,219,600
Milling
Ore milled, tonnes465,000430,000895,000
Feed grade, g/t6.936.586.76
Processing
Recovery % of gold85%86%86%
Gold in doré, ounces poured87,00082,000169,000
Sales
Gold ounces sold87,50083,100170,600

1 Q1 2012 mining tonnage and strip ratio have been revised to reflect updated density tests completed in Q2.

The mine performed well in the quarter, with improved feed grade and mill throughput relative to the previous quarter but offset slightly by reduced metallurgical recoveries.

Recovery declined as expected due to the increased transitional ore adjacent to the underlying supergene ore which requires more ROM stockpile management and blending strategies. Waste mining to access oxide ore and pre-strip of the copper supergene progressed to plan.

Ore mining increased relative to the previous quarter in order to create sufficient buffer capacity on the ROM pad prior to the June to September rainy season. The costs associated with the removal of copper phase prestrip are deferred for accounting purposes.

Nevsun expects to announce its full Q2 financial results on August 8, 2012, with a conference call the next day.

HARENA:

In early July, the State of Eritrea granted a mining license to Bisha Mining Share Company for the Harena deposit, located approximately 9 km south of the Bisha plant. Harena is a satellite VMS deposit with oxide gold and base metal sulphide ores, similar in configuration to Bisha but smaller and lower grade. Resources and reserves for Harena will be included in the Bisha resource and reserve update later this month.

Bisha has all the equipment on-site to commence mining operations at Harena over the remainder of this year. The lower grade Harena gold oxide ore will be blended with the higher grade Bisha oxide, which should stabilize overall gold recovery while providing additional payable ounces.

OTHER UPDATES

The copper plant expansion continues to progress for start-up in mid 2013 and orders have been placed for equipment needed to export copper concentrate by mid-2013.

In addition to the ongoing Bisha operations and capital expansion, Nevsun continues its due diligence of expansion opportunities of both copper and gold projects in Africa, the Americas and Europe.
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Site Tour – June 2012
 

Overlooking Bisha Main North Pit – May 24, 2012
 

Bisha Main South Pit Operations – May 7, 2012
 

Bisha Main North Pit with exposed Supergene and Transitioned Ore – May 7, 2012
 

Preparing for a blast in Bisha Main South Pit – 7 May 2012
 

Silver Rich Dore ready for Shipment – 7 May, 2012

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