Sandfire Resources has combined a strong operational performance with buoyant copper prices to post record annual revenue of $813 million (reports The West Australian).

The unaudited figure, which was up 24 per cent on last year, comes after the Karl Simich-led company posted annual copper production of 70,845 tonnes, beating its full-year guidance of 67,000-70,000t. The strong production figure along with record high prices for the red metal saw Sandfire complete another strong year of copper concentrate sales, including two record shipments with cargo values exceeding $50m. Gold production of 39,459 ounces was at the upper end of guidance of 36,000-40,000oz.

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Now that Sandfire has received the mining licence for its US$279 million (A$364 million) Motheo copper project in Botswana, the market’s focus shifts to a soon-to-released updated mineral resource for the project’s satellite A4 deposit (writes Barry Fitz)

Now that Sandfire has received the mining licence for its US$279 million (A$364 million) Motheo copper project in Botswana, the market’s focus shifts to a soon-to-released updated mineral resource for the project’s satellite A4 deposit (writes Barry FitzGerald on MiningNews). Located 8km west of the mainstay T3 deposit, the higher-grade A4 discovery is being banked on to upscale Motheo from a 30,000tpa copper producer to 55,000tpa within 12-18 months of first T3 production in early 2023.

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Chalice Mining boss Alex Dorsch says the company will not retain a holding in its gold spin-off, with plans for a 100 per cent in-specie distribution to existing shareholders (reports The West Australian).

Mr Dorsch made the comments during an investor webinar following the market darling’s announcement that it would demerge its gold assets, focused on the promising Pyramid Hill gold project in Victoria, from Chalice and its celebrated Julimar discovery 70km north of Perth.

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Showers of cash from the big boys of iron ore over the next few weeks will increase investor interest among smaller players in Australia’s most profitable mining industry (reports Tim Treadgold on Small Caps).

BHP (ASX: BHP), Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) and Fortescue Metals (ASX: FMG) are expected to unleash monster dividend payments when they report half and full year profit results inflated by record prices for the steel-making material.

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Auteco Minerals has increased resources at its Pickle Crow gold project in Canada by more than 70% following a successful 45,000m drilling campaign completed over the past 10 months (reports MiningNews).

The deposit now weighs in at 1.7 million ounces, comprising a high-grade inferred resource in quartz lodes that has jumped 470,000oz to 1.47Moz grading 10.1 grams per tonne, and a maiden banded iron formation-hosted resource of 240,000oz grading 3.7gpt. The company says the BIF resource is potentially amenable to bulk mining methods. Auteco says its resource growth has come at an "outstanding" cost of just A$15.25/oz for the additional 710,000oz.

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High copper grades and chunky widths are providing confidence for US-focused explorer New World Resources ahead of the maiden resource estimate at its Antler copper project in Arizona (reports Stockhead).

So much so that the continuity of mineralisation uncovered will likely see many of the initial JORC resources classified as “indicated”. Typically early stage explorers like New World Resources (ASX: NWC) will start off with inferred resources only. That New World is already looking at the higher category is testament to the continuity of the widths and grades being seen in drill core since acquiring the historic mine in early 2020.

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Gold producer St Barbara has paid A$25.3 million cash for a 19.8% stake in explorer Kin Mining (reports MiningNews).

The acquisition of 158.1 million shares was made yesterday at an average price of 16c per share, a premium to Kin's closing price of 14c yesterday. Kin closed at just 11.5c on Tuesday. St Barbara has been working on a Leonora province plan centred around its 1.4 million tonne per annum Gwalia mill. Kin's Cardinia project has a resource of 30 million tonnes grading 1.28 grams per tonnes for 1.23 million ounces and is about 35km from the Gwalia mill. St Barbara has been relying on about 200,000t per annum of third party ore to fill the mill.

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Canaccord Genuity says gold production of 15.2koz from Red 5’s (ASX: RED) Darlot gold mine for the June quarter was above its forecast of 13.3koz, largely driven by higher plant throughput.

Canaccord has a Speculative Buy recommendation on the $434 million gold miner, with a price target of 35c-a-share, well above its current price of 18.5c. “AISC of A$2,461/oz was slightly higher than Canaccord’s estimate of A$2,445/oz with higher volumes mined and milled causing the variance,” said Canaccord analyst Henry Renshaw. “The result takes production for the full FY21 to 76.1koz at an AISC of A$2,273/oz, which is within the recently revised guidance range of 74-78koz at an AISC of A$2,240-2,290/oz.”

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