The Midweek Sun
GOVERNMENT OKAYS MOTHEO EXPANSION PROJECT
Sandfire Resources’ submission for an extension to the Motheo Copper Mine mining licence has been approved. According to the company, the approval by the Department of Mines represents significant stage for the 5.2 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) Motheo expansion project on the Kalahari copper belt.
The development follows government’s approval of the environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) in May 2023. “Approval of the extended mining licence is a critical step for our newest mine and we look forward to seeing the higher grade A4 Pit contribute to the expanded Motheo mining complex, which is expected to produce more than 50kt of contained copper in the 2025 financial year,” said Sandfire’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Brendan Harris. He reiterated that the robust approvals process for the project was a significant undertaking.
Harris said the development and mining of the A4 Deposit is expected to commence in the September quarter of financial year 2024, expanding the mining footprint that currently encompasses the T3 Open Pit. “The expansion project will see processing capacity increase from the initial rate of 3.2 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) to 5.2 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) by the end of the December quarter of financial year 2024, as the project’s design and procurement activities are significantly advanced. Meanwhile, the company says the subsequent ramp-up in throughput to the expanded rate is expected to occur across the remainder of financial year 2024. Motheo is expected to be a substantial new long-life copper mine and one of the few new copper mines under construction anywhere in the world.