NEVSUN Resources Ltd. today reports that the processing plant at the Bisha Mine has been temporarily shut down due to a mechanical issue with the ball mill.
The Company believes this temporary shutdown will not negatively impact its 2015 annual production guidance but may take approximately two weeks to resolve.
During this temporary shutdown, the mine plans to catch up on waste mining and accelerate other preventative maintenance that was scheduled for later in 2015.
Mining rates have continued to improve year-to-date in 2015 with both waste and ore mining ahead of schedule. Copper production was also ahead of plan until this temporary shutdown. Through the end of February 2015, the mill has processed over 365,000 tonnes of ore with copper feed grades at 4.6 percent, giving us confidence that our annual guidance will not be impacted. Concentrate trucking and shipping logistics also continue to perform with capacity to export stockpiled copper concentrate, precious metal concentrate and pyrite sand material in 2015.
The Zinc Expansion project remains on track. Civil work is nearing completion for most areas and steel work erection has commenced. Major equipment and long-lead time items have been ordered. Commissioning remains on-track for the mid-2016.
While conducting a planned routine ball mill inspection, it was decided to accelerate gearbox maintenance for the mill, initially scheduled for April, upon observing a cracked output shaft bearing. The spare output shaft bearings were already onsite as critical spares however key tools and ancillary equipment are currently being expedited to site to complete the work already commenced with supplier Thyssen Polysius over the coming week.
Despite the estimated two week unplanned shutdown for this repair, this will save some time for the planned ball mill reline scheduled in Q2 2015. During this temporary shutdown, the mine plans to catch up on waste mining and accelerate other preventative maintenance that was scheduled for later in 2015.
The Company will provide an update on when the plant is back online.