JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The processing plant at TSX-listed Nevsun Resources’ Bisha mine, in Eritrea, would be shut down for about two weeks to resolve a mechanical setback with the ball mill.
The company said in a statement on Friday that the temporary shutdown would not negatively impact its 2015 full-year production guidance and that it would undertake preventive maintenance that had previously been scheduled for later in the year.
While conducting a planned routine ball mill inspection, Nevsun had observed a cracked output shaft bearing and decide to accelerate gearbox maintenance for the mill that had initially been scheduled for April.
“The spare output shaft bearings were already on site as critical spares; however, key tools and ancillary equipment were being advanced to site to complete the work that had already [started]. Despite the estimated two-week unplanned shutdown for this repair, this will save some time for the planned ball mill reline scheduled in the second quarter of this year,” the company noted.
Meanwhile, in the year-to-date, mining rates had continued to improve, with both waste and ore mining ahead of schedule. Copper production had also been ahead of plan until the shutdown.
Until the end of February, the mill had processed more than 365 000 t of ore, with copper feed grades at 4.6%.
Concentrate trucking and shipping logistics also continued to perform with capacity to export stockpiled copper concentrate, precious metal concentrate and pyrite sand material this year.