Nevsun 2012 Annual Results

Nevsun 2012 Annual Results 
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwire) -- 03/20/13 -- Nevsun
Resources Ltd. (TSX:NSU)(NYSE MKT:NSU) is pleased to report its
financial and operating results for the year ended December 31, 2012.
Unless otherwise noted, with the exception of earnings per share and
cash cost per ounce figures, all results are in thousands of US
This release should be read in conjunction with Nevsun Resources
Ltd.'s (Nevsun or the Company) consolidated financial statements for
the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2011 and associated Management
Discussion and Analysis (MD&A), which are available on the Company's
website at and on SEDAR
( and EDGAR ( 
Full year 2012 highlights 

--  Operated safely and well below the industry average LTI rate with no
--  Produced 313,000 ounces of gold in 2012, exceeding the top end of
--  Revenues of $566 million, with average realized gold price per ounce of
--  Cash cost of $312 per ounce of gold sold, inclusive of royalties 
--  Generated $194 million in cash flow from operations 
--  Earnings of $0.73 per share attributable to Nevsun shareholders 
--  Increased mineral resource and reserve estimates from 2011/2012 drilling

"This past year represented the second year of gold production for
the Company's 60%-owned Bisha Mine" stated Cliff Davis, President and
CEO of Nevsun. "The Company surpassed the top end of its production
guidance, which in turn, allowed the Company to achieve record
revenues, remain among the lowest cost gold producers in the world,
and generate strong operating cash flows. This excellent operating
performance is not only due to the fact that Bisha is one of the
highest grade open pit deposits in the world, but also due to the
dedication of our site management and employees, and the strong
support we receive from the State of Eritrea. We are also pleased to
report that Bisha had zero lost time incidents during 2012 and that
we strive to ensure that the Company's presence has a positive social
and economic impact and that mining operations are conducted in a
responsible manner. 
During the year, the Company invested $64 million in the copper phase
expansion and a further $24 million bet
ween sustaining capital for
the gold facilities and exploration and evaluation expenditures. The
Company paid $20 million in dividends, completed a $6.3 million share
repurchase program, and paid in excess of $200 million of income
taxes relating to 2011 and installments for 2012. Despite these
expenditures, we maintained an exceedingly strong balance sheet
through 2012, ending the year with almost $400 million in cash and no
As 2013 unfolds, the transition from gold production by mid-year to a
low cost copper concentrate producer will be pivotal for Bisha. The
copper expansion project remains on budget and on schedule. In excess
of 80% of the forecasted project expenditures of $125 million has
been spent or committed. The copper production ramp up will continue
through the second half of 2013 after which we are expecting copper
production in 2014 to be in the order of 200 million pounds. 
Lastly, while we have this year launched an aggressive generative
exploration program on the highly prospective Bisha property, we are
continuing to actively evaluate potential acquisition opportunities. 
For a more complete analysis, I encourage readers to review the
Company's Annual Information Form, the 2012 annual MD&A and the
December 31, 2012, audited financial statements." 
Operations review 

Key operating information - Bisha Mine(1):                                  
                                                         2012       2011(2) 
Ore mined, tonnes                                   1,591,000     1,898,000 
Waste mined, tonnes                                 8,677,000     7,716,000 
Strip ratio, (using BCMs)                                 7.4           5.8 
Copper phase prestrip, tonnes                       1,220,000             - 
Tonnes milled                                       1,807,000     1,806,000 
Gold grade (g/t)                                         6.21          7.55 
Recovery, % of gold                                        86%           88%
Gold in dore, ounces produced                         313,000       379,000 
Gold ounces sold                                      320,700       369,900 
Gold price realized per ounce                    $      1,671  $      1,620 
Comperative gold price(3)                        $      1,669  $      1,572 
Cash cost per ounce sold(4)                      $        312  $        295 
(1) For quarterly information, refer to the Annual MD&A, key operating      
(2) The 2011 gold production and sales statistics include results from the  
 pre-operating period, January 1 - February 21, 2011. For accounting        
 purposes, sales from ounces produced prior to February 22, 2011 were       
 considered pre-production and capitalized to property, plant and           
(3) Average London PM Fix spot price.                                       
(4) Cash cost per ounce sold includes royalties and is a non-GAAP measure;  
 see cautionary note regarding non-GAAP measure.                            

Mined ore tonnage for 2012 of 1,591,000 was 307,000 tonnes fewer than
2011's 1,898,000 tonnes. Waste mining tonnage of 8,677,000 in 2012
increased from 7,716,000 tonnes in 2011. The increase in waste mined
and decrease in ore mined resulted in an increased strip ratio of 7.4
for 2012, as compared to 5.8 for 2011. The increase in strip ratio
results from the increased pit depth and newly planned shallower pit
walls due to updated geotechnical assessments. 
The milled tonnage for 2012 of 1,807,000 was consistent to that in
2011 of 1,806,000 tonnes. The combined decrease in average grade in
2012 to 6.21 g/t from 7.55 g/t in 2011 and decrease in recovery in
2012 to 86% from 88% in 2011 resulted in fewer gold ounces produced
in 2012 of 313,000 (2011 - 379,000 ounces) and gold ounces sold of
320,700 (2011 - 369,900). The decrease in grade results from the
shift to mining Harena ore for the majority of Q4 2012. There was no
mining of Harena ore in 2011. 
Gold cash costs for 2012 were $312 per ounce on 320,700 ounces sold,
net of $94 per ounce in silver by-product credits, while cash costs
for 2011 were $295 per ounce on 334,500 gold ounces sold, net of $14
per ounce in silver by-product credits. The increase in full year
2012 cash operating costs compared to full year 2011 cash operating
costs is attributed to: (i) fewer gold ounces sold as a result of
lower grades and recoveries, which was expected; and (ii) higher
fuel, mill consumables and labour costs. These increases were,
however, partially offset by the increased silver by-product credits
which were a result of significantly higher silver grades in the ore
processed and higher recoveries, particularly in Q4 2012. 
Financial review  

Summary of financial results:                                               
                                                          2012      2011(1) 
In US $000s (except per share data)                  (audited)     (audited)
Revenues                                         $     566,039 $     547,770
Operating income                                       405,674       417,783
Net income                                             246,696       250,034
Net income attributable to Nevsun shareholders         145,262       147,065
Earnings per share attributable to Nevsun                                   
 shareholders                                             0.73          0.74
Working capital                                        398,444       272,974
Total assets                                     $     873,696 $     775,226
(1) 2011 figures reflect operating results from February 22, 2011, the date 
commercial production was achieved at the Bisha Mine, to December 30, 2011. 

Revenues for 2012 of $566,039 (2011 - $547,770) comprise gold sales
of $535,945 (2011 - $543,153) and by-product silver sales of $30,094
(2011 - $4,617). The gold ounces sold and price per ounce are
included in key operating information. Silver revenues for 2012
included sales of 962,000 ounces of silver (2011 - 142,000 ounces).
Increased 2012 silver by-product sales over 2011 are a result of
higher silver grade ore and higher silver recoveries. 
Operating income is very comparable for both 2012 and 2011. Details
of certain operating expenses and depreciation and depletion are
discussed in the annual MD&A. 
Similarly the net income for both 2012 and 2011 are very comparable. 
The Company's cash and cash equivalents at December 31, 2012, were
$396,404, up from $347,582 as at December 31, 2011. The Company
generated $193,815 and $365,964, respectively, from operating
activities for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2011. 
Non-GAAP measures 
Cash cost is a non-GAAP performance measure which does not have any
standardized meaning within International Financial Reporting
Standards (IFRS) and therefore may not be comparable to similar
measures presented by other companies. Cash costs include all costs
absorbed into inventory, as well as royalties and by-product credits,
but exclude depreciation and depletion, share-based payments,
reclamation, and exploration costs, as well as capital expenditures.
Total cash costs are divided by ounces of gold sold to arrive at per
ounce cash costs. It is intended to provide additional information
and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for
measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS. The measure
is not necessarily indicative of operating profit or cash flow from
operations as determined under IFRS. 
Conference call details 
The Company will hold a conference call on Thursday, March 21, 2013,
at 8:00AM Vancouver / 11:00AM Toronto, New York / 3:00 PM London, to
discuss the quarterly results. Please call in at least five minutes
prior to the conference call start time to ensure prompt access to
the conference. Dial in details are as follows: 
North America: 416-340-8530 / 1 877-440-9795 
UK: 00800-2787-2090 (toll free) 
Other International: +1 416-340-8530 
The conference call will be available for replay until March 28, 2013
by calling +1 905-694-9451 / 1 800-408-3053 and entering passcode
Forward Looking Statements 
This news release contains forward-looking statements concerning
anticipated developments on the Company's continuing operations in
Eritrea including, but not limited to, future gold and copper
production, copper phase expansion, transition to copper production,
and possible acquisition activity. Forward-looking statements are
frequently, but not always, identified by words such as "expects,"
"anticipates," "believes," "intends," "estimates," "potential,"
"possible," "budget" and similar expressions, or statements that
events, conditions or results "will," "may," plans," "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, unforeseen government actions or
other events; (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; (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; or those described in this new release. Information concerning
the interpretation of drill results and mineral resource and reserve
estimates also may be deemed to be forward-looking statements, as
such information constitutes a prediction of what mineralization
might be found to be present if and when a project is actually
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 and 2012 annual
Management Discussion and Analysis for a more complete discussion of
the risk factors associated with our business. 
Note to U.S. Investors 
This news release uses the terms "reserves" and "resources" and
derivations thereof. These terms have the meanings set forth in
Canadian National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for
Mineral Projects (NI 43-101) and the Canadian Institute of Mining,
Metallurgy and Petroleum's Classification System (CIM Standards). NI
43-101 and CIM Standards differ significantly from the requirements
of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC).
Under SEC Industry Guide 7, mineralization may not be classified as a
"reserve" unless the determination has been made that is "part of a
mineral deposit which could be economically and legally extracted or
ced at the time of the reserve determination". In addition, the
term "resource", which does not equate to the term "reserve", is not
recognized by the SEC and the SEC's disclosure standards normally do
not permit the inclusion of information concerning resources in
documents filed with the SEC, unless such information is required to
be disclosed by the law of the Company's jurisdiction of
incorporation or of a jurisdiction in which its securities are
traded. Accordingly, information concerning descriptions of
mineralization and resources contained in this news release may not
be comparable to information made public by US domestic companies
subject to the reporting and disclosure requirements of the SEC. 
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
commercial gold production in February 2011 and is scheduled to
transition to copper/gold production in mid-2013. Management expects
the Bisha Mine will rank as one of the highest grade open pit base
metal deposits in the world. 
Cliff T. Davis, President & Chief Executive Officer    
Kin Communications
604 684 6730 or Toll free: 1 866 684 6730
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