Motheo processing plant expansion, Botswana – update

Aerial view of the Motheo mine accommodation

Photo by Sandfire Resources

22nd September 2023

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


Font size: - +

Name of the Project
Motheo processing plant expansion.


Project Owner/s
Sandfire Resources.

Project Description
A prefeasibility study (PFS) has confirmed the strong business case for the development of the Motheo project’s A4 deposit as part of the expanded 5.2-million-tonne-a-year Motheo production hub strategy.

The A4 deposit has estimated openpit ore reserves of 9.7-million tonnes grading 1.2% copper and 18 g/t silver.

The A4 PFS outlines the first additional satellite deposit to the Motheo copper mine, expanding plant production from 3.2-million tonnes a year to 5.2-million tonnes a year over its five-year mine life. Estimated copper production contained in concentrate over the life of the A4 openpit is estimated at 105 000 t.

Mine facilities include surface mining operations at the A4 deposit, expansion of the processing plant and supporting infrastructure.

The project has a total mine life of 12.5 years.

Potential Job Creation
Sandfire reported in August 2022 that there were more than 1 700 personnel on site.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has a pretax net present value, at a 7% discount rate, of $682-million and an internal rate of return of 36%, with a payback of 2.9 years from the start of production.

Capital Expenditure
Total preproduction development capital has increased to $366-million, incorporating the development costs for the A4 openpit and an updated cost forecast for the Motheo plant to account for increased steel costs, foreign exchange movements and Covid-19-related disruptions.

Planned Start/End Date
Motheo produced its first copper concentrate in May 2023 and reached commercial production 45 days later.

Latest Developments
Sandfire Resources has completed a $60-million uplift to the Motheo finance facility, from $140-million to $200-million to support the expansion of the project.

The finance facility will maintain the company’s overall seven-year tenure to June 2029, with the usual conditions precedent to be satisfied ahead of the first drawdown in the coming weeks.

“The uplift of the Motheo finance facility highlights the confidence that our international banking syndicate has in the Motheo operations, and we appreciate their support,” Sandfire CEO and MD Brendan Harris has said.

Harris has said that it expects to build concentrate stocks through the value chain over the course of this financial year as it ramps up operations, with about 34 000 t of payable copper sales anticipated.

The company plans to test an open extension of the high-grade A4 deposit and undertake a medium-density drilling programme of the newly discovered A1 mineralised zone with the objective of identifying a maiden mineral resource. Sandfire will also test several other targets within economic distance of the Motheo processing facility.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
African Mining Services (delivery of all surface mining services associated with the development and production activities at the A4 openpit).

Contact Details for Project Information
Sandfire Resources, tel +61 8 6430 3800.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



John Deere (Pty) Ltd
John Deere (Pty) Ltd

In 1958 John Deere Construction made its first introduction to the industry with their model 64 bulldozer.


Rooted in the hearts of South Africans, combining technology and a quest for perfection to bring you a battery of peerless standing. Willard...


Latest Multimedia

sponsored by

Photo of Martin Creamer
On-The-Air (24/11/2023)
24th November 2023 By: Martin Creamer
A video round up of this week’s magazine, highlighting our cover story, features and Business Leader.
Magazine round up | 24 November 2023
24th November 2023
Photo of Martin Creamer
Renewables, green hydrogen, platinum make headlines
23rd November 2023

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?







sq:0.138 0.188s - 93pq - 2rq
Subscribe Now