Nevsun ‘excited’ about continued drilling success at Harena, Eritrea

Bisha, Eritrea

Bisha, Eritrea

Photo by Nevsun Resources

18th August 2014

By: Henry Lazenby

Creamer Media Deputy Editor: North America


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TORONTO ( – TSX- and NYSE MKT-listed Nevsun Resources, which is focused on extracting copper from its 60%-owned high-grade Bisha copper mine, in Eritrea, on Monday said it was “excited” about continued positive drilling results at the Harena deposit, located 10 km south of the Bisha mine and processing plant.

The exploration programme was designed to expand the known resource down to a depth of about 250 m from surface. Nevsun said the deposit had previously been sparsely drilled beyond the known resource and had been locally tested to a depth of only 175 m.

 Bisha Mining Shre Co,p[any ()Bisha Mining Share Company (B MSC) had to date completed about 15 000 m of the 25 000 m planned diamond drilling programme. If the 2012/13 drilling programme was anything to go by, when it lifted Bisha’s total contained copper resources 22% to 1.4-billion pounds, then this year would prove no different.

The company had set aside between $10-million and $12-million for exploration this year.

Harena currently had a modest indicated primary resource of 1.8-million tonnes, grading 0.65% copper, 3.91% zinc, 0.6 g/t gold and 23 g/t silver for 25.76-million pounds of copper, 155-million pounds of zinc, 30 000 oz of gold and 1.38-million ounces of silver. It's 350 000 t inferred primary resource was grading at 0.75% copper, 4.1% zinc, 0.8 g/t gold and 32 g/t silver for 5.7-million pounds of copper, 31.2-million pounds of zinc, 10 000 oz of gold and 260 000 oz of silver.

Nevsun said BMSC geologists were attracted to the possibility of expansion owing to the extensive, highly altered felsic volcanic footwall unit that might indicate the presence of a large, strong mineralising system.

Drilling to the north and, in particular, to the south had been encouraging.

Hole HX-006 was a follow-up step-out hole, 50 m to the south of HX-005. Assay results for hole HX-006 returned two intervals of massive sulphide, the first grading 1.28% copper, 3.71% zinc, 0.56 g/t gold and 41.70 g/t silver over 17.7 m and a second zone grading 1.07% copper, 1.79% zinc, 0.60 g/t gold and 47.7 g/t silver over 7.8 m.

Another drill hole further down in the footwall returned a gold-rich sulphide stringer zone, grading 7.64 g/t gold and 140.1 g/t silver over 8 m. Similar gold-rich stringer zones had been intersected previously at Harena; however, they had not been as wide as the zones encountered in hole HX-006.

At Harena South, the deposit appeared to be increasing in thickness at depth to the south, was still open and the associated footwall alteration remained strong.

The zone was flattening and had shallow dips at about a 200 m depth and the grades encountered to date were, on average, higher than the current resource grade. All the mineralisation discovered to date was outside the current resource volume.

Nevsun said drilling was ongoing and it would continue its efforts to expand the deposit.

Harena’s north end had also only seen limited exploration. Hole HX-004 at the north end of the deposit returned 10.45 m, grading 2.3% copper, 0.91% zinc, 1.3 g/t gold and 42.9 g/t silver in primary massive and stringer sulphides. This was one of the more copper-rich intersections to date at Harena and further drilling to the north of the deposit would be completed shortly to follow up this promising result.

In June, an airborne versatile time domain electromagnetic geophysical survey was completed over the entire Mogoraib river exploration licence, the Bisha mining agreement area, and the Harena mining licence. The results of this survey were currently being assessed and would be followed up later in the year.

Other geophysical surveys were also in progress and consisted of ground and borehole transient electromagnetic surveys.

Nevsun last month reported net earnings for the three months ended June 30 of $ 30.5-million, or $0.15 a share, nearly double that recorded for the first quarter, as copper-in-concentrate sales soared 51% to 51.5-million pounds. Revenues of $169.2-million were also, in part, boosted by a higher realised copper price of $3.21/lb, up 6.5% sequentially.

The Bisha mine produced low-cost gold/silver doré until mid-2013 when, through a $110-million copper expansion, throughput expanded to 2.4-million tonnes a year and the product switched to copper in concentrate. Later in the mine life, flotation capacity would be expanded again to also produce zinc concentrates.

Nevsun’s TSX-listed stock on Monday traded slightly higher at C$4.25 a share, having gained 15% since the start of the year.

Edited by Tracy Hancock
Creamer Media Contributing Editor



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