Sandfire smashes shipment record

Sandfire Resources has achieved a new shipping record, with sales from a single cargo of US$50 million (A$64.5 million) (reports MiningNews).
25th June 2021
Resources Rising Stars

The shipment of 23,274 wet metric tonnes of copper concentrate from the DeGrussa operation left Geraldton bound for one of Sandfire's offtake partners in India.

Record high copper prices meant the shipment broke the previous record of A$52 million, set in December 2020.

"This shipment is higher in value even than many large iron ore shipments and sets an impressive new record for the DeGrussa operations," Sandfire managing director Karl Simich said.

"It provides a further indication of the extremely strong demand for high-quality copper concentrates globally and reinforces the deep, liquid and mature nature of the global copper market."

DeGrussa is on track to produce as much as 70,000t of copper and 40,000 ounces of gold this financial year at low C1 costs of US80-85c per pound of copper.

The company confirmed this week DeGrussa would run at full capacity until reserves were depleted in September next year.

Macquarie upgraded its forecast earnings for Sandfire for FY22 by 30% to $122 million and by 27% to $54 million in FY23.

Earnings for the current financial year are expected to be $181 million.

However, Macquarie's copper price assumptions are below $4/lb.

Meanwhile, the grant of a mining license for its T3 copper mine in Botswana is looming, with construction expected to begin within weeks.

The project is set to produce an average 30,000 tonnes of copper and 1.2 million ounces of silver per annum at all-in sustaining costs of $1.76/lb of copper from early 2023.

"With a strong production base in Australia and development of our new long-life Motheo-T3 copper mine in Botswana gathering momentum, Sandfire is extremely well-placed to capitalise on what some forecasters expect to be a new supercycle for copper as the global energy transformation takes hold," Simich said.

"We are continuing to see copper prices driven higher by a tight supply situation and rising demand from the green energy sector."

Copper hit an all-time high of $10,448.50/t or $4.74/lb in February, but concerns about inflation, a Chinese crackdown on commodity markets and a stronger US dollar saw the price drop to $9289/t, or $4.21/lb overnight.


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