Motheo Copper Mine anticipates further explorations
With over 26,000 square kilometers of land on the Kalahari Copper Belt, Motheo Copper Mine has intentions to gear up its exploration. The developers of the mine, Sandfire said the belt is under explored, despite its significant copper terrane with only 643 holes drilled in 15 years of regional exploration. Kalahari Copper Belt extends for approximately 1000 km between Botswana and Namibia.
Through regional geophysical data collection, the company anticipates the heightened exploration to enable a holistic basin scale approach to targeting, supported by collaborative relationships with academia and industry counterparts to increase geological understanding.
Motheo latest exploration is on its piece of land code named A1 Dome. “The next highly prospective exploration target is 19km from the Motheo processing facility with similar structural and lithological setting to the T3 and A4 domes,” said Sandfire’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Karl Simich. According to the company, the A1 Dome has more than 9km strike length of the prospective lower D'Kar formation identified through drilling and geophysical surveys.
Meanwhile, Sandfire has announced intentions to fund the development of the 5.2 Mtpa expansion from 3.2 Mtpa development at Motheo Copper Mine through a combination of cash and project debt. “The company has obtained credit approval for a US$140.0 million (approximately P1, 8 billion) project debt facility from a syndicate of banks,” said Simich.
According to Sandifire, the total development capital is estimated at US$397.4 million (approximately P5.1 billion) and incorporates future development costs for the A4 Open Pit and 5.2 Mtpa plant expansion of US$47.9 million (approximately P612 million) and the US$29.5 million (approximately P377 million) increase in capital cost forecast for the 3.2Mtpa project.
“In parallel with this development, we are also continuing a major exploration campaign both in the near-mine area as well as across our extensive landholding in the Kalahari Copper Belt aimed at defining additional ore sources that can feed into our expanded processing hub at Motheo or support the development of new production centres across the region,” said Simich.
Currently, developments at Motheo Copper Mine include surface mining operations at the A4 Deposit, expansion of the processing plant and supporting infrastructure. The recently completed Motheo mining accommodation facility at 752 rooms requires no expansion to accommodate additional manning numbers associated with mining at A4.
In addition, new infrastructure for A4 includes a light vehicle access road from the already constructed access road, a dual lane HV haul road to be constructed from A4 to the Motheo Processing Plant, workshops, fuel, crib and office facilities, electrical and water supplies.
And planning is well advanced for a 22MW Photo Voltaic (PV) and Battery Energy Storage System (BESS). “The PV plant would be located next to the process plant, with the potential to supply up to 34% of the project’s future energy needs and will reduce its CO2 emissions.”