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October 10, 2013

Bisha Mining Announces Q3 Operating Results

 

Q3 2013 OPERATING HIGHLIGHTS

·         Bisha achieves first copper production of 12 million pounds 

·         Gold production of 13,300 ounces from CIL decommissioning 

·         First ocean shipments of concentrate in October 

·         Commercial production remains on track for late 2013 or early Q1 2014

 

Bisha Mining Share Company (BMSC or the Company) is pleased to announce its first copper production of 12 million pounds in concentrate from the Bisha Mine during the third quarter. Production guidance remains at 30 to 50 million pounds of copper in concentrate for 2013. The Company also produced 13,300 ounces of gold during the quarter, mainly from the decommissioning process of the gold CIL circuit. 

Commissioning and ramp up of the copper expansion continues, with commercial production expected in late 2013 or early Q1 2014.  Pre-commercial production copper concentrate is moving to the port of Massawa and the first bulk shipments of concentrate are expected in October.

Cliff Davis, BMSC’s Chairman commented, “After successfully starting the high grade Bisha Mine and producing approximately 800,000 ounces of gold since 2011 at a cash cost of less than $350 per ounce, we are pleased to begin the next phase of the Bisha Mine as a significant copper producer. The capital program to implement the copper circuit has been completed on time and on budget and we have been able to bring initial product to the market.

The team at Bisha are carefully managing the commissioning process and we look forward to strong production in 2014 and continuing to develop BMSC’s resources.”

Total tonnes mined were up 60% quarter-over-quarter with ore mined up 30% to 559,000 tonnes.  The ore mined included 232,000 tonnes of remnant oxide and pyrite sand being mined to stockpile for future processing.

Waste mined increased 70% quarter-over-quarter to 2,802,000 tonnes, for a strip ratio of 8.5 to 1 by volume.  The stronger performance reflects putting new equipment to use and improvements in maintenance.   Overall, waste stripping remains behind plan for 2013, however, this is expected to have minimal impact on copper ore production through 2014. Actions remain in place to resolve the remaining issues and deliver the required stripping going forward.

The 366,000 tonnes milled was inclusive of pyrite sand processed through mid-July 2013.  Overall in Q2 and Q3, 94,000 tonnes pyrite sand ore was processed, generating an estimated 7,000 tonnes of precious metal concentrate containing 8,000 ounces of gold and 789,000 ounces of silver.  Options are being explored to best realize value from the precious metal concentrate and unprocessed pyrite sand stockpiles.

Since the start of copper commissioning in mid-July, the strategy has been to make use of lower grade and sub-grade copper feeds, thereby preserving reserve grade material and resulting in a copper recovery of 60%, much lower than the greater than 80% expected when the plant is in commercial production.  Commissioning and ramp up of the copper expansion continues, with commercial production on track for late 2013 or Q1 2014.

Gold production will continue from decommissioning of the CIL gold circuit, with Q4 being the final quarter of doré shipping.

Details of the Company’s quarterly operating results follow:

 


Q3 2013

3 months ending

September 30

Q2 2013

3 months ending

June 30

Q1 2013

3 months ending

March 31

 

Year-to-Date 2013

9 months ending
September 30

Mining

 

 

 

 

Ore mined, tonnes 1

559,000

425,000

475,000

1,459,000

Waste mined, tonnes

2,802,000

1,647,000

1,925,000

6,374,000

Strip ratio (calculated in BCM’s)

8.5

4.5

5.1

5.9

Milling

 

 

 

 

Ore milled, tonnes 2

366,000

455,000

432,000

1,253,000

Gold feed grade, g/t 3

-

2.75

4.14

3.43

Copper feed grade, % 4

2.5

-

-

2.5

Processing

 

 

 

 

Recovery % of gold 3

 

80%

79%

79%

Gold poured in doré, ounces 5

13,300

34,900

42,300

90,500

Recovery % of copper 4

 59.5

-

-

59.5

Copper in concentrate, million pounds

12.0

 

 

12.0

1 Q3 mining tonnage, all from Bisha Main pit, includes remnant transitional acid oxide ore (91,000 tonnes), pyrite sand ore (141,000 tonnes), and supergene ore (327,000 tonnes)
2 Q3 milling tonnage was pyrite sand mixed with oxide ore followed by supergene ore starting in mid-July
3 Gold feed grade and recovery relates to oxide ore only
4 Copper feed grade and recovery relates to the pyrite sand and supergene ores
5 Q3 gold poured is predominantly associated with the decommissioning of the CIL plant

  

Forward Looking Statements: The above contains statements regarding future gold and copper production, mine operations, and process recoveries.  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