The mine is on-track for ore commissioning in mid-second quarter 2016 and commercial production later in 2016.
The Bisha zinc expansion project enables processing of the primary copper-zinc-gold-silver ore at up to 2.4 Mtpa, producing both copper and zinc concentrates from the existing copper flotation and new zinc flotation plants.
Based on the current open pit mine plan, Nevsun expects Bisha to produce on average 225 Mlb of zinc and 53 Mlb of copper in concentrate per year through 2025 at a total forecasted cost of approximately $80 million, significantly under the budget of $100 million.
The project is proceeding well on health and safety performance, maintaining a zero lost time injury status, with zero environmental non-conformances.
Overall, the project is over 90% complete, with alll major equipment and materials havng been delivered to site. Procurement activities are limited to site based orders and amendments.
The structural, mechanical, piping and plate work is 98% progressed, while the electrical and instrumentation installation is well advanced and the power upgrade from Aggreko has been completed.
The search and selection process for the commissioning team for the project has nearly been completed with cold commissioning having commenced in certain areas.
Primary ore commissioning is planned for mid-second quarter 2016.
As the total tonnage of copper and zinc concentrate produced going forward is expected to be similar to total copper concentrate quantities in 2015, there is no need for additional transport or shipping infrastructure upgrades.
The existing Rotainer trucking and loading system continues to operate safely, efficiently and in an environmentally sound manner.
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