Canadian gold miner Nevsun Resources Ltd. (NSU) has shipped its maiden ocean pre-commercial copper concentrate (of 11,000 tons) from the new Bisha copper plant in Eritrea, East Africa.
The maiden copper shipment was shipped from the Massawa docks. The shipment was completed with the help of Nevsun’s partner -- Eritrean National Mining Corporation and the port authorities in Eritrea. Commissioning and ramp up of the copper expansion continues and the commercial production is expected in late 2013 or in first-quarter of 2014.
Separately, Nevsun recently unveiled its third-quarter 2013 production results from the Bisha mine. The mine produced 12 million pounds of copper concentrate for the first time. It also produced 13,300 ounces of gold in the quarter primarily from the decommissioning process of the gold CIL circuit.
Nevsun mined 559,000 tons of ore during the third quarter. Waste mined was 2,802,000 tons. Moreover, Nevsun milled 366,000 tons of ore during the quarter. The results include transitional pyrite sand processed through mid-Jul, 2013.
Nevsun has implemented strategies to make use of lower grade and sub-grade copper feeds. Thus, the company is preserving reserve grade material that resulted in copper recovery of 60% since copper commissioning started in mid-July.
The company will also continue gold production from decommissioning of the CIL gold circuit with the fourthquarter being the final quarter of doré shipping.
Nevsun is a high-grade, low-cost gold producer. The company has a 60% interest in the Bisha mine, which ranks as one of the highest grade open pit mines in the world.
Bisha produced 313,000 ounces of gold last year, exceeding the company’s expectations. Nevsun invested $64 million in the copper phase expansion during 2012.
Nevsun, which currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), will report its full third-quarter results on Nov 7.