Perenti’s African Mining Services secures $648m contract at Sandfire Resources’ Motheo copper mine in Botswana

Perenti will lock in a $648 million contract to provide open pit mining at Sandfire Resources’ Motheo copper operations in Botswana if the project gets the green light (reports The West Australian).
11th June 2021

The seven-year, three-month contract with Perenti’s African Mining Services will have a one-year extension offer and terms will be finalised if Sandfire is granted a mining licence by the Botswanan government.

AMS is set to partner with a local firm for the project and transition to a 70-30 joint venture before the start of mining early next year.

Perenti managing director and chief executive Mark Norwell said Motheo was a game-changing growth opportunity for AMS in one of the world’s most attractive mining jurisdictions.

The company in February reported it had taken a $88.1m hit on its exit from mining projects in West Africa in the wake of a fatal terrorist attack in November 2019.

“Growing our footprint in Botswana is aligned with our 2025 strategy, to further expand into stable mining jurisdictions and pursue quality projects,” Mr Norwell said.

“The Motheo project is another positive step in the ongoing transformation of our AMS business as we seek to create value and certainty for our client Sandfire and the Ghanzi community.”

The company already has a presence in Botswana through Barminco, its underground mining division, at the large-scale Khoemacau copper mine 200km north-east of Motheo.

Perenti shares were up more than 4 per cent at 9.10am to 71¢.

Sandfire said it would start full-scale construction of the $364m mine development once it is granted a mining licence, which is due in the next few weeks. First production of copper — which has been swept up in a global commodities supercycle and hit a new record price last month — is expected in early 2023.

Managing director and chief executive Karl Simich said the award of the open pit mining contract marked another milestone towards the development of Motheo.

“From our perspective, we will be able to bring the high-quality operational skills and capabilities we have developed at our DeGrussa operations over the past decade and, together with AMS, work together to ensure we draw on the very latest mining technologies to maximise productivity while ensuring the safety of our workforce at all times,” Mr Simich said.

Perenti’s mining chief executive Paul Muller said he expects more than 95 per cent of the Motheo joint venture workforce will be Botswanan citizens.

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