Barminco proceeds with $800m copper contract

Ausdrill-owned contractor Barminco has secured one of its largest ever contract wins following the successful funding of a major copper mine in Botswana, Southern Africa.

Barminco won a five-year contract worth $800 million in June with Khoemacau Copper Mines owned by private investment firm Cupric Canyon Capital to supply underground mining services to its flagship Zone 5 mine.

The contract was dependent on Cupric securing final funding for the mine, which has now been received.

Cupric announced on Thursday it had added $US85 million ($120 million) of equity to an existing $US565 million funding package secured in February, allowing the mine to go ahead with full funding. The company has pegged initial construction costs at $US397 million over a period of two years.

The Zone 5 deposit, in Botswana’s Kalahari copper belt, is highly prospective. It hosts a total mineral resource of 91.7 million tonnes at 2.1 per cent copper and 22 grams of silver per tonne.

Barminco will develop the mine, provide underground infrastructure, diamond drilling and production at a starting rate of 3.6 million tonnes of copper ore a year.

Ausdrill managing director Mark Norwell said the contract represented a major opportunity for the contractor’s international growth strategy.

“We are delighted that the funding package has successfully closed and look forward to delivering on this significant project, with preparations underway for us to commence mining services at the Zone 5 mine in December 2019,” Norwell said.

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