PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Copper miner Sandfire Resources has reported a maiden interim profit after tax of A$79.1-million after its DeGrussa project, in Western Australia, was commissioned during the period under review.
The profit was the result of the sale of some 34 001 t of contained copper in concentrate, along with some 17 626 oz of gold. Total production for the first half of the 2013 financial year was 37 573 t of copper and 21 411 oz of gold.
Sales revenue for the period increased to A$272.4-million over the interim period, compared with the A$20.7-million achieved in the previous six months, driven mainly by the production of high-grade direct shipping ore from the Stage 1 openpit operation.
MD Karl Simich said this week that the achievement of a maiden net profit after tax of A$79.1-million and a profit before tax of A$119.9-million for the first half of the year, was an outstanding result.
“This excellent result was driven by the openpit operations, which have delivered great financial outcomes for the company in the first half. The strong cash flows generated have enabled us to deposit our first finance facility funds and maintain a strong focus on near-mine exploration and other organic growth opportunities.”
Simich noted that the company’s focus was now on completing the ramp-up into the middle of this year, ensuring that Sandfire maximized metal production while balancing and optimising the blend of underground and openpit feed during the transitional period, and until the underground mine reached full capacity.
Meanwhile, Sandfire reported that the ramp-up of the DeGrussa concentrator was progressing, with recoveries improving above the levels achieved in the three months to December, and averaging around 80% for the March quarter to date.
The project was on track to achieve nameplate levels of 125 000 t/m by mid-2013.
“Additionally, we are continuing to progress some of the exciting new exploration programmes currently under way in the near-mine environment, particularly following our recent successes in extending the mineralisation at Conductor 4 and Conductor 5, and the delineation of the exciting new DeGrussa offset position, where drilling is continuing.”
Simich noted that new resource estimates were being prepared, which included the new intersections in Conductor 4 and Conductor 5, and added that Sandfire would systematically drill out the new DeGrussa offset zone, targeting economic intersections of sulphide mineralisation.
“At the same time, we have some major exploration initiatives progressing at Doolgunna, including targeting programmes following on from the 3D seismic survey we completed along the DeGrussa mine corridor.”