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Sandfire close in on P2 billion development debt

Daniel Chida

Australians confident of Motheo Copper returns by next June

The developers of Motheo Copper Mine, Sandfire, are optimistic the mine will be producing copper by June 2023.

According to the company’s latest update to shareholders, they intend to fund the Ghanzi-based mine’s development through a combination of cash and project debt.

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The Australian mining and exploration enterprise revealed a selected group of banks have been approached for a US$160M (almost P2 billion) debt facility, with the finalisation of terms at an advanced stage.

“Construction of the Motheo Copper Mine is on schedule and on budget,” declared Sandfire Managing Director and CEO, Karl Simich.

Sandfire close in on P2 billion development debt

In fact, it is actually ahead of schedule, with contracting partner at the mine, African Mining Services (AMS), starting mining operations at the T3 Open Pit earlier than originally envisioned – a development Simich described as ‘an important step’ on the road to production.

Sandfire has identified a strong pipeline with high quality deposits and is determined to do extensive exploration in the Kalahari Copper Belt spanning across Botswana and Namibia.

Motheo is expected to give up substantial rewards for years to come and is one of the few new copper mines under construction anywhere in the world.

“It is expected to become the cornerstone of a long-term copper mining hub for Sandfire in the world-class Kalahari Copper Belt,” Simich told shareholders.

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Early this year, in the company’s half-year financial results, Sandfire announced construction at Motheo was not affected by the Omicron variant of Covid-19 but rather work had been stepped a gear up.

“Notwithstanding the challenges experienced as a result of the onset and spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, our construction teams have been doing an incredible job, keeping this large scale construction project on schedule and on-budget towards first production next year,” said Simich, adding his company, which also has operations in Australia and the USA, is committed to delivering a lasting, positive contribution to the communities it operates in.

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