CIM Vancouver 2006
Abstract Nevsun Resources discovered the high grade Bisha volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposit in late 2002. The deposit comprises three distinct mineral horizons - an gold oxide cap with an average gold grade of 7 g/t that overlies a copper massive sulphide supergene zone averaging 4% copper, which itself overlies a zinc-copper primary massive sulphide zone which averages 9% zinc and 1% copper.

The Bisha deposit has been drilled to 25m centers along a strike length of over 1200m to depths exceeding 400m. A scoping study for the deposit was completed in 2005 and a feasibility study is in progress. The scoping study assessment indicates robust economics and presented a conceptual development plan outlining installation of a 2 million tonne per year operation with a ten year mine life. Nevsun plans to take the project into operation by 2008.

Eritrea had many small scale high grade gold mining operations in the 1930’s operated by Italian settlers but since the 1940’s there has been no commercial mining. On independence, the Government of Eritrea Bisha commenced an active marketing of Eritrea’s mineral provenance inviting exploration proposals from international exploration companies. Nevsun started its minerals search in Eritrea in 1998 and the Bisha discovery represents the first large scale discovery in Eritrea since independence. It heralds the start of a new mining camp and a significant new economic sector for the country.
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