Canadian mining firm Nevsun Resources has unveiled the maiden open pit mineral resource estimates for the Hambok and Northwest zone deposits, and the updated mineral reserve estimates for the Bisha Main and Harena open pit mines.

The company said that Hambok and the Northwest zone are satellite deposits to the Bisha Main pit and that, in addition to Harena, they are anticipated to provide feed to the Bisha mill to extend the mine life.

The total indicated mineral resource estimate of the combined Bisha Mining Share Company (BMSC) property tenements has increased by 29% from the previous total indicated mineral resource estimate of 31 May 2012, by an additional 9.3 million combined oxide gold, supergene copper and primary copper-zinc zone tonnes.

"We look forward to further exploration success and unlocking the potential in the Bisha VMS camp."

Nevsun said the increase results in an additional 247 million pounds of in-situ copper for a 22% increase in contained copper and an additional 47 million pounds of in-situ zinc for a 1% rise in contained zinc.

The maiden open pit Hambok indicated mineral resource estimate, which includes 6.9 million tonnes grading at 1.14% copper and 1.86% zinc for 172 million pounds copper and 281 million pounds zinc.

The maiden open pit Northwest zone indicated mineral resource estimate includes one million tonnes of supergene material grading at 1.47% copper and 2.5 million tonnes of primary material, grading at 1.04% copper and 1.08% zinc, for a combined 92 million pounds copper and 60 million pounds zinc.

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Nevsun Resources CEO Cliff Davis said that despite mining depletion and cost inflation since the company’s last reserve report in mid 2012, Bisha base metal mine life is 11 years, demonstrating the strength of the ore body.

"The addition of new resources at Hambok and the Northwest zone is an exciting first step to expanding the resource base at Bisha," Davis said.

"All four Bisha deposits are open with extensions that we have yet to define. We also look forward to further exploration success and unlocking the potential in the Bisha VMS camp."