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January 23, 2013

Bisha 2013 Outlook and Production Guidance

 

2013 OBJECTIVES

  • Maintain top quartile safety performance at Bisha operations
  • Execute on social and environmental commitments
  • Complete successful transition to copper production in mid-2013
  • Deliver copper expansion on budget
  • H1 2013 - Produce 80,000 to 90,000 ounces of gold
  • H2 2013 - Produce 60 to 80 million pounds of copper (for 2014 see below)
  • Obtain expanded exploration rights and commence generative exploration
  • Publish resource estimate for Northwest Zone and drill Hambok deposit

 

Bisha Mining Share Company (BMSC) today announces its 2013 outlook for planned gold and copper production from the Bisha Mine in Eritrea. The Bisha Mine is one of the highest grade open pit base metal deposits in the world and has a mine life in excess of 12 years. 

BMSC Chairman, Cliff Davis, commented, “Following a very successful 2012, BMSC looks forward to starting up a world class copper concentrate production operation and continued expansion of its resources portfolio through generative local exploration programs.”

 

Corporate Social Responsibility

BMSC will maintain top quartile safety performance at Bisha operations and work towards maintaining lost time injury rates that are less than North American mining industry average. The Bisha training school, scheduled to be completed in March 2013, will enhance the skill sets and future job advancement opportunities for the workforce. During 2013 BMSC is scheduled to complete ecological/biodiversity and reptile and amphibian assessment studies and will continue to enhance CSR program initiatives to reflect evolving international standards.

 

Copper Expansion Project

BMSC expects the copper expansion project will be completed on time and on budget.  As of the date of this news release, approximately 80% of the forecasted project expenditures of $125M had been spent, ordered or arranged.

 

Copper Guidance

On cessation of gold production in mid-2013, BMSC will commence copper concentrate production with ramp up and optimization of the new facilities. During ramp up, BMSC plans to produce 60 to 80 million pounds of copper in concentrate in H2 2013 through processing nearly 900,000 tonnes of ore from Bisha Main pit averaging 5.2% copper feed grade.  Based on the mine plan, the copper will be contained in 100,000 to 120,000 tonnes of concentrate exceeding 30 percent copper grades.  

2014 will be a full year of copper production and is expected to be in order of 200 million pounds of copper.

 

Gold Guidance

As previously disclosed, BMSC will conclude gold production during the first half of 2013 as reserves will be depleted. Prior to conclusion BMSC plans to produce 80,000 to 90,000 ounces of gold during the first half of 2013 through processing 800,000 tonnes of remaining oxide ores from Harena and Bisha Main pits at a combined 3.7 grams per tonne. 

BMSC expects cash costs per gold ounce will increase significantly compared with the first half of 2012 as a result of lower feed grades, longer haul distances, more mined material and more drill and blast consumables.

After the conclusion of gold production BMSC will de-commission and retain the carbon-in-leach plant so it can be put back into operation should BMSC’s regional exploration efforts yield more oxide deposits.  

 

Exploration Plans

BMSC has expanded its exploration drilling program at the Northwest Zone as mineralization continues along strike to the northeast.  The objective is to complete drilling and release an initial resource report in the second half of 2013. At the recently acquired Hambok deposit on the Mogoraib exploration license, BMSC plans to commence drilling to confirm the historic resource, while updating the geological and resource models. 

BMSC will also drill test already identified high priority targets on the Mogoraib exploration license and new targets on the Bisha mining license. The new targets include mineralized extensions and potential separate clusters of volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) deposit on the existing Bisha mining license. BMSC will continue efforts to expand the licensed exploration areas beyond the existing 143.9 km2


Forward Looking Statements: The above contains forward-looking statements regarding future gold production and grade, copper phase expansion, mine performance, completing construction on time, drilling plans and programs, growing resources, exploration programs, expanding exploration licenses, dividend plans and possible acquisition activity. Forward-looking statements are frequently, but not always, identified by words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “intends,” “estimated,” “potential,” “possible” and similar expressions, or statements that events, conditions or results “will,” “may,” “could” or “should” occur or be achieved. 
Forward-looking statements are statements about the future and are inherently uncertain, and actual achievements of the Company or other future events or conditions may differ materially from those reflected in the forward-looking statements due to a variety of risks, uncertainties and other factors.  The Company’s forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, expectations and opinions of management on the date the statements are made and the Company assumes no obligation to update such forward-looking statements in the future.


Bisha Mining Share Company

“Cliff T. Davis”

Cliff T. Davis
Chairman