Sandfire to finish strong at DeGrussa


DeGrussa copper-gold mine. Image: Sandfire Resources

Sandfire Resources has supported its wind-down strategy for the DeGrussa copper-gold operations in Western Australia, with an ore reserve and mineral resource update.

In the heart of the state’s goldfields, the DeGrussa operations include the DeGrussa and Monty mines, which are expected to reach end-of-life simultaneously in the September quarter of 2022.

Based on an updated 2.6 million tonne ore reserve (including 120,000 tonnes of copper and 117,000 ounces of gold) and a processing capacity of 1.6 million tonnes per annum at the DeGrussa mine, this end-of-life strategy should remain on schedule.

Sandfire managing director Karl Simich said the mine life of the DeGrussa and Monty mines will remain key to the company’s transition into its new Motheo-T3 copper mine in Botswana.

“Based on current mining and processing rates, the current ore reserves at DeGrussa and Monty will allow high-grade, low-cost copper production to continue at full pace right through to the September quarter of 2022,” Simich said.

“Importantly, this will provide us with an exceptional runway to pivot to our next growth chapter as we complete construction and prepare to commence operations at the new Motheo Project in Botswana in early 2023 – completing our transformation into a diversified international copper producer.”

With Motheo site construction costing $US279 million ($366 million), on top of a $496 million surface mining contract for Perenti, Sandfire will look to squeeze every dollar it can from DeGrussa’s final year of operation.

Simich said now was a great time to take advantage of a strong copper market in accelerating toward the finish line at DeGrussa.

“This will put us in the best possible position to capitalise on the current strong copper price and maximise cash generation from what has without question been one of the best copper orebodies discovered anywhere in the world in recent times,” Simich said.

The year-on-year decrease for DeGrussa’s mineral resource was 100,000 tonnes, 18,000 tonnes of contained copper and 14,000 ounces of contained gold.



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