Sandfire boosting Botswana budget
Early exploration success in Botswana means that Sandfire Resources’ 2020 financial year exploration spend will likely come in well over budget (reports MiningNews)...
29th May 2020
Resources Rising Stars
Early exploration success in Botswana means that Sandfire Resources’ 2020 financial year exploration spend will likely come in well over budget (reports MiningNews).
Sandfire acquired the Tshukudu project via the takeover of MOD Resources late last year and set an initial A$10-12 million budget for exploration to June 30.
Based on early success, managing director Karl Simich said that figure would be higher.
"I'd say it would be well and truly above $12 million and probably approaching $20 million," he said during a presentation to the Resources Rising Stars Virtual Investor Forum.
The first round of drilling since the acquisition was completed led to a discovery at A4, just 8km west of the flagship, shovel-ready T3 deposit.
Earlier this week, Sandfire reported further wide, high-grade intercepts from the A4 discovery, including 20.5m at 3.6% copper and 88 grams per tonne silver from 78.5m, cut to 15% copper.
The strike length is now more than 700m and the deposit remains open to the northeast and southwest.
Sandfire is planning to restart drilling in early June as Botswana's lockdown restrictions ease.
The company now owns 18,200sq.km of the Kalahari Copper Belt after acquiring a land package in Namibia from Kopore Metals last week, ground Simich described as "extraordinarily prospective".
Sandfire flagged up to nine drill rigs at Tshukudu by the end of June, but Simich said it was likely to be 10-12.
He said the region was underexplored and represented a significant opportunity for Sandfire.
Sandfire envisages T3 as being the first of many developments across its ground.
T3 has capital costs of $260 million for an 11-year operation producing an average of 28,000 tonnes per annum.
Sandfire is currently optimising the feasibility study and had previously been targeting a final investment decision by mid-year, which has been delayed due to the impact of COVID-19 on global supply chains, tendering and construction activities.
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