Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


What is mineral exploration?

Mineral exploration is the process of looking for mineral deposits in the ground and includes techniques that have no or low impacts on land, such as aerial surveying, ground mapping, rock sampling, water and soil testing, and focused drilling.

What minerals is Sandfire exploring for in the Kalahari Copper Belt?

The Kalahari Copper Belt is a major zone of strata-bound copper-silver deposits extending for 1,000km along the northern margin of the Kalahari Craton in Namibia and Botswana. Sandfire is looking for financially viable copper and silver deposits throughout the Kalahari Copper Belt.

What is a land access agreement?

A Land Access Agreement is a negotiated contract formed between a resource company and a private landholder relating to the rights over ‘access land’. Land access agreements usually contain the following elements:

  • Mandatory conditions for biosecurity and general conduct
  • Establishing good relations between the resource company and landholder
  • Assessing the level of impact the activities will have on the landholders’ land and business operation
  • Assessing the level of compensation for the landholder

What is mineral exploration drilling?

Mineral exploration drilling is a form of drilling often used by the mining industry. It’s a process that allows mining companies to determine the material composition of soil in different locations and is used to discover mineral-rich drilling sites and ore deposits. During the drilling procedure, sample of the soil at different depths is analysed by geologists to determine if valuable minerals or other resources are located along the drilling line.

Drilling is used to obtain detailed information about rock types, mineral content, rock fabric, and the relationship between the rock layers close to the surface and at depth.  It is used in areas that have been selected as “targets” based on geological, geophysical, and/or geochemical methods.

There are three primary techniques that can be used for mineral exploration:

  • Conventional Rotary Air/Mud Drilling
  • Reverse Circulation (RC) Drilling
  • Diamond Core Drilling


What will the Motheo mining accommodation facility include?

The Motheo permanent mining accommodation facility will be built close to the proposed T3 Deposit and the A3 Highway. Each accommodation unit will be inclusive of an air conditioner, shower and toilet.

A temporary construction camp to house up to 200 personnel will be constructed adjacent to the process plant.

How many people will the Motheo mining accommodation facility house?

The Motheo mining accommodation facility will house 750 personnel at one time.

Who will be allowed to enter the Motheo Copper Mine site?

Only staff and approved contractors will be allowed to enter the Motheo Copper Mine site. The site and related infrastructure will be fenced and manned by security guards.

What is the projected mine life of the Motheo (T3) Copper Project?

The projected mine life for the known reserves for the T3 Deposit is 12.5 years.

Will the Motheo Copper Mine be open pit or underground?

The Motheo Copper Mine will be based on an open pit for the T3 Deposit. The mining method for this process is:

  • Clearing and stripping of suitable material from all disturbed areas into discrete stockpiles for later use in rehabilitation activities;
  • Grade control drilling and systematic pit mapping to demarcate ore boundaries;
  • Drilling and blasting of ore and waste on 10m benches using suitable blasting methods to minimise dilution;
  • Load and Haul utilising 250-tonne excavators and 140-tonne class haul trucks mining on ~2.5m high flitches in ore zones and ~3.5m high flitches in bulk waste zones;
  • Direct dump of run-of-mine (RoM) ore delivered to the crusher or placed on stockpiles for future rehandle as required;
  • Pit dewatering will be managed by a collection of internal and external dewatering and de-pressurising bores and in-pit sumps for use within the mining operation; and

Reverse Circulation (RC) grade control drilling will be used on a predominantly 12.5m by 12.5m angled drill pattern and is campaigned during the mine life.