Our team is doing well despite new construction challenges: Sandfire

Sandfire MD and CEO Karl Simich has explained that their construction team at Motheo Copper mine in Botswana is doing well despite hardships that come with new construction projects.

The Copper miner is on track to start the first production at its Motheo copper mine, in Botswana, in the first half of 2023.

“Despite the challenges confronting new construction projects around the world, our team has been doing a wonderful job, keeping the project firmly on track, on time and on budget and, importantly, ensuring the health and safety of our employees and contractors at all times. We already have over 1 000 people on site, and we expect this to increase to 1 500 over the course of the year,” said Sandfire MD and CEO Karl Simich.

“Motheo is one of the few new long-life copper mines under construction and, together with our recently acquired MATSA Mining Operation in Spain, will be a key driver of Sandfire’s growth into the future.

“We are looking forward to seeing this substantial new copper mine rapidly take shape. We are also looking forward to the completion of the 5.2-million-tonne-a-year Motheo expansion case definitive feasibility study next quarter, which will define our rapid growth pathway as soon as production commences.”

The base-case operation would require a capital investment of $259-million, and based on a 3.2-million-tonne-a-year operation, delivering 30 000 t/y of contained copper and 1.2-million ounces of contained silver over an initial mine life of 12.5 years.

Sandfire will fund the development of the Motheo copper mine through a combination of cash and project debt. Credit committee approved offers for debt financing of the $160-million required for the base case development have now been received from the company’s short-list of potential international lenders. The selection of syndicate banks and finalisation of terms will be completed during the March quarter.