Sandfire denies Chinese copper import ban

DeGrussa copper-gold mine. Image: Sandfire Resources

Sandfire Resources has responded to speculation that China is considering a ban on Australian copper imports, stating that it is “not aware of the reasons for the reported potential ban”.

The Australian Financial Review reported this week that Chinese media has speculated that Australian copper, among other commodities including sugar, imported into the nation could be restricted.

Sandfire, however, stressed that it maintained regular contact with its key Chinese customers, trading and smelter partners for sales from the DeGrussa operation in Western Australia.

“Should it be required, Sandfire is confident in its ability to increase sales contract volumes to existing and also new copper concentrate customers in non-Chinese markets,” Sandfire stated in an ASX announcement.

“For example, into existing markets in Japan, Korea, the Philippines and Europe, based on its market soundings and engagement during its regular tender processes.

“The global copper concentrate markets are mature, robust and highly competitive for clean, high quality concentrate such as that produced from DeGrussa over the past eight years.”

The DeGrussa mine is still operating at full production rates and is maintaining 2021 financial year guidance of 67,000 to 70,000 tonnes of contained copper.

During October, Sandfire has exported four shipments of copper concentrate, further building on its solid financial position of $398 million cash balance with no debt outside of lease liabilities.

The company is showing no signs of slowing down as it progresses its international project pipeline, having completed a feasibility studies for the Black Butte copper project in Montana, the United States and the T3 copper-silver project in Botswana, Africa.

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