Date: Thursday, 23 March 2017
Nevsun Resources Ltd. (TSX: NSU) (NYSE MKT: NSU) (“Nevsun” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the updated mineral resource estimates effective December 31, 2016, for the Bisha, Harena and Asheli deposits in Eritrea. These updated resources form the first part of the annual year end mineral resource and mineral reserve statement for 2016. The updated mineral reserve estimate, currently in-progress, should be released in late May or early June 2017.
Cliff Davis, Nevsun CEO, commented, “Our 2016 regional exploration program built on 2015 successes adding over 1.1 billion copper equivalent pounds of inferred resources. Harena, in particular, continues to increase in size and has growing underground mining potential to extend the mine life at Bisha. Our exploration drilling was also successful in defining a new massive sulphide resource at Asheli, further highlighting the prospectivity of the Bisha District to host additional resources.”
Mr. Davis went on to say, “Nevsun, alongside our Eritrean partner, ENAMCO, continues to invest in regional exploration at Bisha with the ongoing objective to significantly increase the mine life of our operation.”
Tables 1.1 to 1.7 containing the complete mineral resource estimates for each deposit are appended at the end of this release. Copper equivalent is calculated by dividing contained zinc by 2.5 and adding to contained copper.
For the Timok project in Serbia, resources are the same as previously disclosed in the 2016 Preliminary Economic Assessment and will be updated when the Upper Zone project pre-feasibility study is published in September 2017.
In 2016, 6,080 metres of new drilling was completed at Harena continuing to extend the deposit to depth where it remains open. The inferred resource at Harena grew to over 25 million tonnes from 11 million tonnes the year earlier, for an additional 162 million pounds of copper, 1,668 million pounds of zinc, 280 thousand ounces of gold and 10.2 million ounces of silver. New metallurgical testing found the expected recovery for zinc to be 85%, an improvement on the previous recoveries of 72% after testing with a more representative set of material. Drilling continues at Harena in an effort to expand the deposit to depth.
Asheli was discovered in June 2015 by Bisha as part of the Regional Exploration Program. In 2016, 12,918 metres of drilling was completed in 28 holes resulting in the definition of a new inferred resource of 2.4 million tonnes containing 98 million pounds of copper and 455 million pounds of zinc. Importantly, Asheli’s average grade of 1.9% copper and 8.6% zinc is higher than either Harena or Bisha’s primary sulphide grade. Drilling continues in the Asheli area following up on encouraging mineralization recently discovered 200 metres north of the main deposit.
At Bisha, 11,770 metres of drilling in 21 holes was completed in 2016 testing the deposit below the proposed ultimate pit. This work has determined the down dip extent of the deposit. Considerable additional diamond drill core and reverse circulation drilling for production and metallurgical test work was also completed which has improved our understanding of the zonation, composition and recovery of the various ore types. Measured and Indicated resources including stockpiles at Bisha now stand at 23.4 million tonnes containing 529 million pounds of copper, 2,836 million pounds of zinc, 560 thousand ounces of gold and 34 million ounces of silver, a small decrease mostly due to mining depletion.
Qualified Persons Statement
All mineral resource estimates in this report have been prepared by the Qualified Persons described below in accordance with Canadian National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”) and the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum's Classification System (CIM Definition Standards for Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves 2010).
The information in this press release that relates to mineral resources was prepared by Phil Jankowski, a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101. Mr. Jankowski has reviewed and approved the technical contents of this press release for his relevant sections.
Peter Manojlovic, P.Geo., and Frazer Bourchier, P.Eng., are Nevsun's designated Qualified Persons and have reviewed and approved the contents of this press release.
A Quality Assurance/Quality Control program was part of the sampling program for the Bisha work. Certified reference material (standards), duplicates and blank samples are systematically inserted into the flow of drill samples and results analyzed on a batch by batch basis. This program includes a chain of custody whereby diamond drill core samples are initially crushed and sub-sampled at the Bisha Mine sample preparation facility and pulverized and analyzed by Genalysis in Perth, Australia. Multi-element analysis is completed using ICP-AES methods; gold is analyzed by fire assay with AAS finish. Reverse circulation drill samples are processed at the Bisha Mine on-site laboratory, which is a member of the SGS group. Multi-element analysis is completed using ICP-OES methods with gold also analyzed by fire assay.
Cautionary Notes to Investors - Resource Estimates
In accordance with applicable Canadian securities regulatory requirements, all mineral resource estimates of the Company disclosed or incorporated by reference in this news release have been prepared in accordance with Canadian National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects, classified in accordance with Canadian Institute of Mining Metallurgy and Petroleum's "CIM Standards on Mineral Resources and Reserves Definitions and Guidelines" (the "CIM Guidelines"). The definitions of mineral reserves and mineral resources are set out in our disclosure of our mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates in our Annual Information Form.
The Company uses the terms "mineral resources", "measured mineral resources", "indicated mineral resources" and "inferred mineral resources". While those terms are recognized by Canadian securities regulatory authorities, they are not recognized by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") and the SEC does not permit U.S. companies to disclose resources in their filings with the SEC.
Pursuant to the CIM Guidelines, mineral resources have a higher degree of uncertainty than mineral reserves as to their existence as well as their economic and legal feasibility. Inferred mineral resources, when compared with measured or indicated mineral resources, have the least certainty as to their existence, and it cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will be upgraded to an indicated or measured mineral resource as a result of continued exploration. Pursuant to NI 43-101, inferred mineral resources may not form the basis of any economic analysis, including any feasibility study. Accordingly, readers are cautioned not to assume that all or any part of a mineral resource exists, will ever be converted into a mineral reserve, or is or will ever be economically or legally mineable or recovered.
About Nevsun Resources Ltd.
Nevsun Resources Ltd. is the 100% owner of the high-grade copper-gold Timok Upper Zone in Serbia and 60% owner of the high-grade copper-zinc Bisha Mine in Eritrea. Nevsun is well positioned with a strong debt-free balance sheet to grow shareholder value through advancing the Timok project to production.
Forward Looking Statements
The above contains forward-looking statements or forward-looking information within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and applicable Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking statements are frequently, but not always, identified by words such as “expects”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “hopes”, “intends”, “estimated”, “potential”, “possible” and similar expressions, or statements that events, conditions or results “will”, “may”, “could” or “should” occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements are statements concerning the Company’s current beliefs, plans and expectations about the future, including but not limited to statements and information made concerning: statements relating to the business, prospects and future activities of, and developments related to the Company, anticipated dividends, goals, strategies, future growth, planned future acquisitions and explorations activities, the adequacy of financial resources and other events or conditions that may occur in the future, and are inherently uncertain. The actual achievements of the Company or other future events or conditions may differ materially from those reflected in the forward-looking statements due to a variety of risks, uncertainties and other factors, including, without limitation, the risks that: (i) any of the assumptions in the historical resource estimates turn out to be incorrect, incomplete, or flawed in any respect; (ii) the methodologies and models used to prepare the resource and reserve estimates either underestimate or overestimate the resources or reserves due to hidden or unknown conditions, (iii) exploration activities or the mine operations are disrupted or suspended due to acts of god, internal conflicts in the country of Eritrea or Serbia, unforeseen government actions or other events; (iv) the Company experiences the loss of key personnel; (v) the Company’s operations or exploration activities are adversely affected by other political or military, or terrorist activities; (vi) the Company becomes involved in any material disputes with any of its key business partners, suppliers or customers; (vii) the Company is subjected to any hostile takeover or other unsolicited attempts to acquire control of the Company; (viii) the Company is subject to any adverse ruling in any of the pending litigation to which it is a party; (ix) the timing and success of improving the quality of the copper circuit product by resolving the metallurgical challenges from the variable ore materials being processed to produce concentrate from the copper circuit; (x) the effect on resource or reserve estimates due to the possible inability to resolve the metallurgical challenges on the variable ore materials being processed on a timely basis or at all; and other risks are more fully described in the Company’s Annual Information Form for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, which are incorporated herein by reference. The Company’s forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, expectations and opinions of management on the date the statements are made and the Company assumes no obligation to update such forward-looking statements in the future, except as required by law. For the reasons set forth above, investors should not place undue reliance on the Company’s forward-looking statements.
Further information concerning risks and uncertainties associated with these forward-looking statements and our business can be found in our Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2016, which is available on the Company’s website (www.nevsun.com), filed under our profile on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and on EDGAR (www.sec.gov) under cover of Form 40-F.
NEVSUN RESOURCES LTD.
“Cliff T. Davis”
Cliff T. Davis
President & Chief Executive Officer
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