Nevsun Resources Ltd. [NSU-TSX, NYSE AMERICAN] on Tuesday March 27 announced impressive new assay results from the recently completed $20 million exploration drilling program on the Lower Zone at the Timok copper-gold project in Serbia.
Highlights include 1.00% copper and 0.20 g/t gold (1.14% copper equivalent) over 556.8 metres, starting at 1,310 metres in drill hole TC170177.
To date, 84 holes have been drilled within the Lower Zone footprint, of which 78 (covering approximately 90,571 metres) have intersected the deposit or its margins. However, Nevsun said the geometry of the Lower Zone remains to be fully defined. Current dimensions of the mineralized zone are approximately 2,000 metres long by 1,100 metres wide, and 1,400 metres high.
The Lower Zone remains open to extension to the north and at depth. Mineralization starts at approximately 700 metres below surface and has been drill tested to a depth of 2,268 metres.
Nevsun is a leading mid-tier base metals company. It operates Bisha, a high-grade open pit copper-zinc mine in Eritrea and is developing the Timok copper-gold project in Serbia. Timok is located in the historic Bor mining district and benefits from close proximity to existing mining infrastructure.
Timok consists of the Cukaru Peki Upper Zone and Lower Zone. Nevsun owns 100% of the Cukaru Peki Upper Zone. The Lower Zone is a joint venture with Freeport McMoran Corp. [NYSE: FCX]. The project is located in the central zone of the Timok Magmatic Complex (TMC), in the Serban section of the East European Carpathian-Balkan Arc. TMC features high concentrations of copper enrichment.
The company filed a preliminary economic assessment for the Upper Zone in December 2017. It envisages a 15-year mine life, producing over 2.1 billion pounds or 0.965 million tonnes of payable copper. Other highlights of the PEA include $630 million in pre-production capital with a 50% internal rate of return, and under 1.5-year payback.
“We are truly excited by the enormous potential emerging from our work on the Timok Lower Zone,’’ said Nevsun CEO Peter Kukielski.
The Lower Zone is currently owned 60.4% by Nevusn and 39.6% by Freeport-McMoran. However, Nevsun’s project interest will decline to 46% once a feasibility is completed for the Lower Zone.
Kukielsk went on to say that the latest results continue to demonstrate the potential world class nature of the Lower Zone mineralization. Work is now focused on the Lower Zone resource estimate for the Serbian permitting process and the release of a NI 43-101-compliant resource statement in mid-2018.
“While we are years away from the potential development of the Lower Zone, when we compare it to other large porphyry deposits, we like what we see,” Kukielsk said.
He said Nevsun finds itself in the enviable position of being able to deliver new copper production in the relative near term via the high grade Upper Zone and looking ahead to the future potential of Lower Zone development.
On Tuesday, Nevsun shares rose 2.53% or $0.075 to $3.03. The 52-week range is $3.54 and $2.49.