Canadian base metals miner Nevsun Mining, which is being taken over by China’s Zijin Mining, has increased its 2018 zinc and copper guidance for the Bisha mine, following a strong third-quarter performance.
The mine, in Eritrea, produced 69.6-million pounds of zinc in concentrate, compared with 51.3-million in the second quarter and 57.8-million in the prior-year quarter. Copper-in-concentrate production increased to 10.2-million pounds from 8.6-million pounds in the second quarter and 4-million pounds in the third quarter of 2017.
Nevsun increased its full-year zinc guidance to between 245-million and 265-million pounds, from between 210-million and 240-million pounds previously. Its by-product copper guidance has been raised to between 33-million and 38-million pounds from a previous guidance of between 25-million and 30-million pounds.
C1 cash costs for zinc on a by-product basis are expected to be between C$0.60/lb and C$0.80/lb in 2018. In the first nine months of the year, C1 cash costs were C$0.66/lb.
Despite the strong zinc production in the third quarter, Nevsun reported on Thursday that its sales decreased by 17% quarter-on-quarter, as a result of processing higher-grade material late in the quarter. This remained in concentrate inventory at September 30.
The company also reported lower revenue, as a result of weaker zinc and copper prices. Revenue decreased from $76.4-million in the second quarter, to $71.6-million in the third quarter. Compared with the comparative quarter of 2017, revenue remained stable.
Nevsun widened its net loss to $19.9-million, from $9.3-million in the preceding quarter.
Meanwhile, the miner said that its feasibility study for the Timok copper project, in Serbia, was progressing on schedule and that results of the study would be released in mid-2019.