Nevsun Resources has appointed Ian W. Pearce and David S. Smith as independent directors of the company to reflect its growth and transformation.

The appointments are the first step in a planned board renewal process designed to reflect Nevsun’s growth and strategic transformation, following last year’s acquisition of the world class copper-gold Timok project in Serbia.

Further “evolution” of the board is expected to continue during 2017 and before the next annual general meeting. Nevsun also announced plans to launch an international CEO search in 2017 in anticipation of Cliff Davis’ planned retirement.

 “Ian and David bring a wealth of knowledge and experience from their respective previous senior management and independent director roles.  We are very pleased to welcome them to Nevsun, and believe that they will add considerable value, strength and fresh insight to our board,” commented Tookie Angus, chairman of the Nevsun board.

Pearce has over 30 years of experience in the mining industry. From 1993 to 2003, he held senior engineering and project management roles with Fluor Inc. From 2003 to 2006, Pearce held executive roles at Falconbridge, including COO, and he subsequently served as CEO of Xstrata Nickel from 2006 to 2013.

Since 2013, Pearce has been a partner of X2 Resources, a private partnership focused on building a mid-tier diversified mining and metals group.

Pearce currently serves on the board of directors of New Gold Inc. and Outotec Oyj, and is the chair of Mine Sense Technologies, a technology company seeking to improve the ore extraction and recovery process.

He holds a Higher National Diploma in Engineering (Mineral Processing) and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

David Smith has had a career on the finance side of business within the mining sector as well as within the supply side to the sector, with deep international exposure. He brings more than 30 years of financial and executive leadership experience to the board.

Smith served as the chief financial officer and executive vice president of Finning International Inc. from 2009 to 2014. Prior to joining Finning, Smith served as chief financial officer and a vice president of Ballard Power Systems from 2002 to 2009.

Currently, Smith is a director of Dominion Diamond Corporation and non-executive chairman of Paramount Gold Nevada Corporation. Smith is a certified public accountant and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from California State University, Sacramento. He has also completed the Directors Education Programme of the Institute of Corporate Directors course.

Nevsun Resources also announced that Gerard Munera and Bob Gayton have voluntarily stepped down as directors of Nevsun Resources, to start the planned board renewal.

Nevsun Resources is the 60% owner of the high grade Bisha mine in Eritrea. The company is well-positioned to grow shareholder value through advancing the high-grade copper-gold Timok Project to production.

Nevsun Resources has a strong balance sheet with no debt and a peer leading quarterly dividend.