Sandfire Resources (ASX: SFR) held its AGM in Perth today, providing shareholders with an opportunity to hear from new managing director Brendan Harris on operational progress at its two flagship copper mines – Motheo in Botswana and MATSA in Spain.
In his address to shareholders Mr Harris, who joined the copper producer in April, said:
“A safe business is a productive business and I’m pleased to confirm we have achieved a further improvement in our TRIF to 1.2 at the end of September. We’re performing well more broadly and remain on track to deliver Group production, cost and capital expenditure guidance for FY24.
“Our newest mine, Motheo is going from strength to strength. Having proven the processing plant’s initial design capacity of 3.2Mtpa in its first full quarter of operation, we can confirm that Motheo has been regularly operating in excess of this rate through the month of October. With the successful installation and recent commissioning of additional filtration capacity, we have also started to draw down unfiltered concentrate stock.
“The rapid and low-cost expansion project designed to take Motheo’s processing capacity to 5.2Mtpa is also on track with wet commissioning of the new ball mill scheduled to commence in December. We plan to ramp up production to this expanded rate through the March quarter and the A4 deposit remains on track to contribute higher-grade ore from the September quarter. Motheo is well placed to be a low-cost, highly cash-generative operation for our shareholders for many years to come.
“We’re also seeing promising results at MATSA, including the improvement in consistency and predictability we’ve been striving for. In the September quarter, we achieved annualised mining and processing rates of 4.6Mt and 4.5Mt respectively as we started to build additional surface stocks, supporting better processing performance and copper recoveries overall. With access to 100% carbon emissions-free power and by-products of zinc, lead and silver, MATSA is well positioned to thrive in the metal’s intensive world we see evolving into the future.
“DeGrussa has been a tremendous asset for Sandfire across much of the last decade. We seamlessly transitioned the operation into care and maintenance during the latter part of FY23 and have since determined that a discrete asset sales process is likely to deliver the best result for our shareholders, as opposed to a full divestment.
“We are firm believers in the multi-decade, electrification thematic that is in its infancy and this structural shift in the global economy underpins the strong long-term outlook for copper. We are ideally placed given our strategic operating position in two highly prospective copper belts and, with continued success at Motheo, we are primed to deliver more than 50% growth in copper equivalent production from our continuing operations across the two years to the end of FY25.”