Sandfire acknowledges that water is a precious and finite resource with high social, cultural and economic value. We share the concerns of farmers regarding the possible impact on water availability and quality in the area around the Motheo Copper Mine. We agree that the combined impacts of mining activities, the surrounding farms and the potential for new irrigation schemes needs to be well understood so that all parties have a clear understanding of current and future water usage and availability.
The Motheo Copper Mine is located within the Kalahari Desert, characterised by an arid to semi-arid region with cold dry winters and hot and relatively humid summers. There is no surface water in the area and all water is sourced via groundwater aquifers.
In mid-2020, Sandfire received approval for the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the Motheo Copper Mine T3 mine. Studies undertaken for the ESIA have identified fractured rock aquifers as the water source for the proposed operation. Sandfire is currently undertaking further studies to understand the water source and access across the region. These studies will inform the monitoring and management plans for the project. Sandfire continues to engage with local stakeholders on water issues.
Sandfire is committed to continued engagement on this topic. We appreciate the input from all interested or affected parties and welcome opportunities to collaborate.