Sandfire continues expansion in Botswana with record sales

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Copper miner Sandfire Resources has posted record revenue for fiscal 2022, while announcing positive results for a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) on plans to expand its Motheo Copper Project, Botswana.

Sandfire on Tuesday reported record sales of A$922.7 million for the full financial year ended June, up from A$609 million in the previous corresponding period, copper sales from 65,689 t to 93,827 t.

Gold sales fell slightly over the same period from 37,394 oz to 28,618 oz, while silver sales increased from 311,000 oz to 952,000 oz. In addition, 32,328 t of zinc and 3,312 t of lead were also sold over a full year.

Group profit before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization was reported at A$447.3 million, while after-tax net profit attributable to shareholders was A$111.4 million.

Sandfire told shareholders that the combination of an initial five-month contribution from the newly acquired MATSA copper operations in Spain and another strong performance from the DeGrussa operation in Western Australia underpinned the increase. 52% of turnover.

Sandfire CEO and Managing Director Karl Simitch said fiscal 2022 marked one of the most successful and significant periods in the company’s history, rivaled only by the initial discovery and development of the DeGrussa deposit in Western Australia.

“The momentous accomplishments of the past 12 months have fundamentally changed the face of Sandfire and set the stage for our next decade of growth. Our vision to create a diversified, international and sustainable mining company quickly took shape during the year, led by the transformational $1.865 billion acquisition of MATSA’s copper operations in southwestern Spain, announced in September 2021 and finalized in February 2022.

“The fact that we were able to transact a rare base metal asset of this scale and quality, raise A$1.248 billion in equity and $795.5 million in debt to complete the transaction, and then integrating it seamlessly into our business, are incredible accomplishments,” Simitch said.

“The acquisition of MATSA has transformed our portfolio and, together with the exceptional progress we have made during the year in building the new Motheo copper mine in Botswana, has provided the building blocks for what has arguably been our best year as a company.”

Simich noted that DeGrussa’s copper operations are now entering their final months of operation, having delivered another solid and safe year of production in 2022, with both copper and gold production on track.

Processing at DeGrussa is expected to be complete in October 2022, with a detailed mine slowdown and closure plan in place, supported by staff retention programs.

Simich noted that in Botswana, Sandfire was making strong progress towards the development of the Motheo copper mine, where construction and development activities were well advanced and the company remained on track to deliver first production from the 3, 2 million initial tons per year. project in the June 2023 quarter.

“We are also pleased to have today released the DFS for the Motheo Expansion Project, which will see the project’s capacity increased to 5.2 million tonnes per annum and maximum production of approximately 55,000 t/ has copper in concentrate.”

The DFS estimated total development capital at $397 million for the expanded case at Motheo, which includes the cost of developing the A4 open pit mine and the 5.2 million ton mill expansion by year of $47.9 million.

The expanded project, which will see the mining of the T3 and A4 deposits, will have a projected pre-tax net present value of $548 million and an internal rate of return of 29%, using a copper price of $3.57/ lb and a silver price of $20/oz.

The DFS has estimated a life of mine (LoM) of ten years, with peak production reaching 55,000 tpa of copper in concentrate, while production from the LoM is estimated at 440,000 t of copper and 18.4 million ounces of silver, at an all-in sustaining cost of $1.79/lb.

Simich said the decision to embark on an expansion of the Motheo copper mine after the completion of the DFS expansion file marks another important step in the company’s plans to establish a major new mining center. long-term copper in the Kalahari Copperbelt.

“DFS has confirmed the economic strength of the expanded project and provides us with a clear path to move forward with an immediate project expansion of 3.2 million tonnes per year. With construction activity well advanced, the 3.2 million tonnes per annum project is expected to be completed in the March quarter of 2023, with the first concentrate expected in the June quarter of 2023, allowing the expansion project to accelerate immediately upon receipt. environmental and mining approvals.

“The international team carrying out the 3.2 million tonnes per annum project will transition seamlessly to the 5.2 million tonnes per annum development project, including the A4 mine development and expansion of the processing plant.

“Along with this development, we are also continuing a major exploration campaign both in the area near the mine as well as within our extensive landholding in the Kalahari Copperbelt aimed at defining additional ore sources that can supply our expanded processing center in Motheo or support the development of new production centers in the region,” said Simich.

Sallie R. Loera