Mining

Sandfire produces first copper concentrate at Motheo mine in Botswana

Sandfire Resources Ltd on May 25 announced that it had successfully produced first copper concentrate at its Motheo Copper Mine in Botswana. Construction of the Motheo Copper Mine is nearing completion, with equipment commissioning activities over 92% complete for the initial 3.2 Mt/y processing capacity.

T3 open pit mining is proceeding on schedule with more than 270,000 t of ore at ~1.1% Cu (mill feed) and 130,000 t at ~0.7% Cu (lower grade commissioning ore) on the ROM pad at the end of April 2023.

With an inaugural shipment scheduled for the middle of this calendar year, the Motheo team will now focus on completing commissioning activities and ramping-up the processing plant to its initial 3.2 Mt/y processing capacity, which is expected to be achieved during the September quarter of FY2024.

The company also advises that the ESIA for the A4 Project has been approved by the Botswana Government’s Department of Environmental Affairs. The approval of the ESIA is the result of an extensive public consultation process that included multiple stakeholders, including related communities.

The ESIA paves the way for the grant of the mining license for the A4 Pit as the last critical path item for the Motheo 5.2 Mt/y expansion, which will see contained copper production rates at Motheo increase to around 50,000 t/y during FY2025.

Sandfire’s Managing Director and CEO, Brendan Harris, said: “Achieving these important milestones is an outstanding result for Sandfire and is a tribute to the excellent team that we have at Motheo. First concentrate production at our newest mine signals the start of our ramp-up towards the initial 3.2 Mt/y capacity, which we expect to achieve on a sustainable basis during the September quarter of FY2024. With the approval of the A4 Project ESIA paving the way for the grant of the A4 Pit mining license, our attention now turns to the delivery of the rapid, low-cost expansion in capacity from 3.2 Mt/y to 5.2 Mt/y by early CY2024.”

He adds: “The approval of the ESIA is the result of an extensive public consultation process that included multiple stakeholders, including related communities, and is another demonstration of the momentum that Sandfire is building through our positive interaction with stakeholders in the Ghanzi region.”

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