By Nevsun Resources,
NEVSUN Resources Ltd. (TSX: NSU) (NYSE MKT: NSU) is pleased to provide an update on the Bisha zinc expansion project which will average over 100,000 tonnes (225 million pounds) of zinc and 24,000 tonnes (55 million pounds) of copper per year for 10 years after start up in mid-2016.
The zinc expansion project adds zinc flotation capacity to the Bisha processing plant. This zinc flotation plant floats zinc concentrate after existing copper flotation, enabling the production of two products: zinc and copper concentrate as required to process primary ores.
The project remains on schedule with engineering design 89% complete, procurement 60% complete, site construction 21% complete for an overall project progress of nearly 60% as of March 31, 2015.
The major infrastructure and equipment engineering has been complete for some time with only minor tie-ins and minor modifications outstanding. Procurement of mechanical, piping, electrical and automation packages are mostly finished. All long lead orders were placed in 2014. The most critical civils component of construction is complete and steel erection by onsite specialist contractors has commenced.
The overall forecast to complete the project is US$92 million inclusive of US$6 million contingency. Combined concentrate production will average approximately 300,000 tonnes per year, not dissimilar to 2014 production rates. No additional capital is therefore required for the land transport or port infrastructure to export the copper and zinc concentrates produced from the zinc expansion starting in mid-2016.
Cliff Davis, Nevsun CEO, commented
“We take a diligent approach to capital project management to complete projects on time and on budget. Our decision at the start of the zinc project to strengthen the owner’s construction team with a more integrated EPCM approach has realised additional savings. We are confident that the robust flotation process plant will facilitate potential future throughput expansions and extended mine life. We have also been careful not to commit any of our zinc off-take so as to take advantage of the expected tightening of worldwide zinc supply”.
Zinc Expansion Project Highlights
– Overall nearly 60% complete with zinc plant commissioning on-schedule for mid-2016
– Foundations and civil work complete with steel erection underway
– Flotation cells transported to site, regrind mills soon in country
– Forecast to complete: US$92 million with US$63 million committed, US$31 million spent
– No lost time injury or environmental incidents since project commenced
– Uncommitted off-take is well timed for anticipated supply deficit in the zinc market