We already knew the Bisha project was a VMS project and all VMS-projects occur in one large deposit (in this case the Bisha mine) but also contain several smaller satellite deposits as a cluster around the main deposit. Since 2012, Nevsun Resources has been focusing on effectively finding those satellite deposits.
Recently, Nevsun announced a new Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide (VMS) discovery 20 kilometres to the southwest of its operating Bisha Mine in Eritrea.
With the discovery of a fourth significant massive sulphide occurrence on the Bisha property, the region is clearly developing into a district scale exploration camp. On top of the new discovery at Asheli, there are now three satellite deposits to the Bisha Mine with 43-101 resource in the Bisha area including the Harena, Northwest, Hambok deposits.
The Bisha Mine began construction in September 2008 and declared commercial production in February 2011 at a rate of 2Mtpa (million tonns annually). The mine produced low-cost gold-silver dore until mid-2013 when, through a $110 million copper expansion, throughput expanded to 2.4Mtpa and the product switched to copper in concentrate.
The US$92 million 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 Company is well positioned with a working capital of $499 million, including $452 million of cash mainly from the current copper dominated operation. As the mine continues deeper, Bisha will become a significant zinc producer starting Q4 2015 (October – December).