Nevsun Comments on Human Rights Matters
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/11/13 -- Nevsun
Resources Ltd. (TSX:NSU)(NYSE MKT:NSU) today provided a comment on
its approach to human rights at the Bisha Mine in Eritrea, in which
Nevsun has a 60% ownership position. Nevsun provided the comment
because it anticipates that both the Company and a Bisha Mine
subcontractor will be mentioned in a forthcoming report by a
non-governmental human rights organization.
"Nevsun is committed to responsible operations and practices at the
Bisha Mine, based on international standards of safety, governance
and human rights," said Cliff Davis, President and CEO. "Our
60%-owned subsidiary Bisha Share Mining Company (BMSC) directly
employs nearly 1,000 Eritreans at the Bisha Mine and provides a safe
and supportive working environment. Bisha had zero lost time
accidents in all of 2012."
Positive social and economic impact
Nevsun strives to ensure that the Company's presence has a positive
social and economic impact. With spin-off effects, the Bisha Mine has
created meaningful employment for thousands of Eritreans. The
Company's commitment to corporate social responsibility is detailed
in its 2011 CSR report, available on its website at this link:
From inception of mining in early 2011 Bisha has contributed more
than US$400 million in cash remittances to the Eritrean government
and government owned entities. In addition, the mine contributed tens
of millions of dollars to the economy of Eritrea through salaries,
wages, benefits, local supply-chain purchases, and community
assistance and the mine did not displace any local communities.
Considering that the Bisha Mine is the only modern mine in Eritrea,
this contribution is a significant benefit to the national economy
and the local communities.
Compensation for Eritreans directly employed by BMSC is well above
the average for Eritrea. Employees are provided free food and free
accommodations or free local commuting. These employees also receive
free training and have opportunities for advancement. Employees also
have access to free medical care at the mine's clinic.
Conscripted labour is not allowed at Bisha
The use of conscripted labour at the Bisha site is not allowed. BMSC
has strong practices and procedures to ensure that all individuals at
Bisha are working of their own free will and are not conscripts. The
procedures include the inspection of national service discharge
documentation for all Eritrean workers at Bisha. The inspection
process is further supported by a Bisha-issued photo ID card for
those employed directly or by subcontractors.
In early 2009, within a few months of the start of mine construction,
Nevsun became aware of allegations that a particular subcontractor,
Segen Construction, might be employing conscripts from the country's
national service. Unfortunately, at the time, BMSC's national service
discharge document inspection procedures did not apply to
subcontractors. In response to the allegations BMSC acted quickly by
immediately extending its procedures to include subcontractors and by
obtaining a written guarantee from Segen that it would not use
conscripts at Bisha. There are currently 140 Segen employees at the
mine, representing about 10% of the 1,400 Eritreans employed directly
or indirectly at Bisha. Segen is not a permanent fixture at Bisha.
All Segen employees will leave Bisha by the end of August, 2013, when
their current work is completed.
The Company expresses regret if certain employees of Segen were
conscripts four years ago, in the early part of the Bisha Mine's
construction phase. Segen is controlled by the Eritrean State and
BMSC is required to use Segen for certain construction work at Bisha.
BMSC is not allowed to do such work itself or to engage any other
subcontractor for such work.
Forward Looking Statements
The above contains "forward-looking statements". Except for
statements of historical fact relating to the Company, information
contained herein constitutes forward-looking statements, including
any information as to the Company's strategy, plans or future
financial or operating performance. Forward-looking statements are
frequently, but not always, identified by words such as "plans",
"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
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
NEVSUN RESOURCES LTD.
Cliff T. Davis, President & Chief Executive Officer
604 684 6730 or Toll free: 1 866 684 6730
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