Motheo Copper Mine
Sandfire’s Motheo Copper Mine is centred on development of the T3 Deposit. The T3 Deposit is a significant sediment-hosted copper and silver deposit, located in the Kalahari Copper Belt in Botswana.
The Project is held through in-country subsidiary Tshukudu Metals Botswana (Pty) Ltd and was acquired through Sandfire’s acquisition of MOD Resources Ltd in October 2019.
Motheo represents the foundation for Sandfire’s long-term growth plans in Botswana and is expected to generate approximately 1,000 jobs during construction and 600 full-time jobs during operations.
Our vision is that Motheo will form the centre of a new, long-life copper production hub in the central portion of the world class Kalahari Copper Belt, where we hold an extensive groundholding spanning Botswana and Namibia.
Sandfire completed a positive Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) in December 2020 on an initial Base Case 3.2Mtpa processing capacity and open pit development of the T3 Deposit.
Based on the results of the DFS, Sandfire’s Board approved the mine development, with construction commencing in 2021 and first production scheduled for the calendar year of 2023.
The DFS outlined a robust initial 12.5-year operation, underpinned by an updated Ore Reserve of 39.9Mt at 0.9% Cu and 12.2g/t Ag for 360,000t of contained copper and 15.6Moz of contained silver, producing on average ~30kt of contained copper and 1.2Moz of contained silver per annum over the first 10 years of operations, with relatively low capital intensity and robust operating margins.
Full details of the DFS can be found in Sandfire’s ASX announcement, dated 1 December 2020, titled ‘Sandfire Approves Development of new Long-life Copper Mine’.
The DFS was based on a forecast copper price of US$3.16/lb, reflecting long-term consensus pricing at the time the feasibility study was completed. Since the completion of the study, the average long-term broker price forecast for copper has increased to US$3.43/lb and the current spot price for copper is around US$4.30/lb.
As part of the Motheo Mine development, Sandfire has made a significant investment in additional processing capacity and infrastructure, providing a clear pathway to rapidly expand the processing facility to a planned 5.2Mtpa production rate for the Motheo Production Hub to accommodate other ore sources.
The immediate and most advanced expansion opportunity for the expanded 5.2Mtpa Motheo Production Hub is the A4 Deposit, located 8km west from T3.
The A4 Deposit Open Pit Ore Reserve totals 9.7Mt at 1.2% Cu and 18g/t Ag for 114,000t of contained copper and 5.7Moz of contained silver. Supporting the estimation and reporting of the A4 Ore Reserve, Sandfire has completed an internal pre-feasibility study (PFS) for the expansion of the Motheo Processing Plant. The PFS has confirmed the strong business case for development of the A4 Deposit as part of an expanded 5.2Mtpa Motheo Production Hub strategy.
In completing the Expansion Case PFS Sandfire has been able to leverage the work completed for the T3 DFS. The A4 PFS outlines the first additional satellite deposit to the Motheo Copper Mine, expanding plant production from 3.2Mtpa to 5.2Mtpa over its five-year mine life. The ore processing contribution of the A4 Open Pit is five years with estimated copper production contained in concentrate over the life of the A4 Open Pit of 105,000t.
Based on the strong economics of the PFS, Sandfire has moved directly to a DFS for the integration of the A4 Deposit as a source of satellite ore feed for the Motheo Mining Hub.
For more details on the A4 PFS and the combined T3 and A4 operations, refer to the Company’s ASX Announcement, dated 22 September 2021, titled , ‘A4 Ore Reserve and Motheo Expansion PFS‘.
Motheo Copper Mine showing the planning integration of the A4 Deposit as part of an expanded 5.2Mtpa production hub
To see further updates on the progress of the Motheo Copper Mine, visit the ASX Announcements page of our corporate website.