Nevsun Exceeds Production Guidance and Extends Gold

Nevsun Exceeds Production Guidance and Extends Gold Production 
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/09/13 -- Nevsun
Resources Ltd. (TSX:NSU)(NYSE MKT:NSU) -  
2012 HIGHLIGHTS 


 
--  Produced 313,000 ounces of gold in 2012, exceeding the top end of
    guidance 
--  Gold production forecast extended to the end of Q2 2013 
--  Copper expansion managed on schedule and budget for mid-2013
    commissioning 
--  Continued peer leading semi-annual dividend of $0.05 per share 
--  Increased resource and reserve estimates from 2011/2012 drilling 
--  Obtained the Harena deposit mining license and commenced mining 
--  Strong exploration drill results extended drilling program at Northwest
    Zone 
--  Acquired the Mogoraib exploration license including the Hambok
    historical resources

 
Q4 2012 HIGHLIGHTS 


 
--  Produced 46,000 ounces of gold in Q4 2012 
--  Processed 447,000 tonnes of ore at 3.85 g/t gold 
--  Overall metallurgical recoveries at 84% of contained gold

 
Nevsun Resources Ltd. is pleased to announce strong production
results of 313,000 ounces of gold for 2012 with 46,000 ounces in the
quarter ended December 31, 2012. Gold production for 2012 exceeded
the top end of the latest guidance. Bisha gold production is again
extended and is now anticipated to continue to the end of Q2 2013,
aligning well with the planned commissioning of the copper expansion
project. 
A summary of the Company's quarterly and full year operating results
is as follows: 


 
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                    Q4 2012      Q3 2012     Q2 2012     Q1 2012        2012
                   3 months     3 months    3 months    3 months   12 months
                     ending       ending      ending      ending      ending
                December 31 September 30     June 30    March 31 December 31
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Mining                                                                      
 Ore mined,                                                                 
  tonnes            426,000      316,000     500,000     349,000   1,591,000
 Waste 
mined,                                                               
  tonnes          2,602,000    2,590,000   1,659,000   1,826,000   8,677,000
 Strip ratio,                                                               
  (calc in                                                                  
  BCM's)                7.1         10.3         4.0         6.2         7.4
 Cu phase                                                                   
  prestrip,                                                                 
  tonnes                  -            -     481,000     739,000   1,220,000
Milling                                                                     
 Ore milled,                                                                
  tonnes            447,000      465,000     465,000     430,000   1,807,000
 Feed grade,                                                                
  g/t                  3.85         7.40        6.93        6.58        6.21
Processing                                                                  
 Recovery % of                                                              
  gold                  84%          87%         85%         86%         86%
 Gold in dore,                                                              
  ounces poured      46,000       98,000      87,000      82,000     313,000
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The mine performed well in the fourth quarter. The majority of fresh
ore was mined from the low grade areas of the Harena satellite pit
and Bisha Main pit. Cleanup and selective mining of the Bisha Main
acid and transition ores continues. Waste mining to expose copper
supergene and push-back the northeast (NE) hill remained on plan. The
NE push-back has exposed additional gold bearing oxide ores on the
periphery of the pit that will be accessed in H1 2013 while opening
the pit for additional supergene ores later in the mine plan. 
The mill was on plan for recovery despite blending ultra-high grade
Bisha Main transition ores with lower and sub-grade Harena and other
stockpiled ores. The ore remains highly variable and is carefully
managed to avoid losses to tailings.  
The continued metallurgical performance and additional ore have
allowed Bisha to extend gold production to the end of Q2 2013,
aligning well with the commissioning of the copper expansion. 
Nevsun will announce its 2013 production guidance later in January
2013, with a conference call to follow. 
Nevsun will announce its full year 2012 financial results on March
21, 2013, with a conference call to follow. 
Copper Expansion Update 
The copper plant expansion continues to progress on schedule and
budget with concentrate production expected in mid-2013. 
Forward-Looking Statements 
The above contains forward-looking statements regarding future gold
production, mine operations, process recoveries and the copper phase
expansion. 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, including, without limitation, the
risks that (i) any of the assumptions in the historical resource
estimates turn out to be incorrect, incomplete, or flawed in any
respect; (ii) the methodologies and models used to prepare the
resource and reserve estimates either underestimate or overestimate
the resources or reserves due to hidden or unknown conditions, (iii)
the mine operations are disrupted or suspended due to acts of god,
internal conflicts in the country of Eritrea, or unforeseen
government actions; (iv) the Company experiences the loss of key
personnel; (v) the mine operations are adversely affected by other
political or military, or terrorist activities; (vi) the Company
becomes involved in any material disputes with any of its key
business partners, lenders, suppliers or customers; (vii) the Company
is subjected to any hostile takeover or other unsolicited attempts to
acquire control of the Company; (viii) the Company is subject to any
adverse ruling in any of the pending litigation to which it is a
party; or (ix) the Company incurs unanticipated costs as a result of
the transition from the oxide phase of the Bisha mining operations to
the copper phase in 2013. Other risks are more fully described in the
Company's most recent Management Discussion and Analysis, which is
incorporated herein by reference. 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, except as required by law. For the reasons set forth
above, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking
statements. 
Please see the Company's Annual Information Form for the fiscal year
ended December 31, 2011 and the Company's Management Discussion and
Analysis for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 for a more complete
discussion of the risk factors associated with our business. 
About Nevsun Resources Ltd. 
Nevsun Resources Ltd. is a Vancouver-based mining company with an
operating mine in Eritrea. Nevsun's 60%-owned Bisha Mine commenced
gold production in February 2011 and is scheduled to transition to
copper/gold production in 2013. Management expects the Bisha Mine
will rank as one of the highest grade open pit base metal deposits in
the world. 
NEVSUN RESOURCES LTD. 
Cliff T. Davis, President & Chief Executive Officer 
Contacts:
Kin Communications
604 684 6730 or Toll free: 1 866 684 6730
NSU@kincommunications.com
www.nevsun.com