Perenti Global has reported that its surface mining subsidiary in Africa, African Mining Services (AMS), was awarded the contract for open-pit mining services at Sandfire Resources’ Motheo copper project in Ghanzi, Botswana.
Still to be finalised, the contract has an appraised value of $496 million over an initial seven-year-and-three-month term with a provision for a one-year extension. Under the contract, AMS will identify a suitable local Botswana company or companies as a joint venture partner for the project and transition to the joint venture before the initiation of mining in 2022.
Perenti Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mark Norwell, said: “Growing our footprint in Botswana is aligned with our 2025 strategy, to further expand into stable mining jurisdictions and pursue quality projects. The benefit of adding Motheo to the Perenti project portfolio is the opportunity to leverage our existing in-region operational presence at Zone 5 (owned by Khoemacau Copper Mining) as well as partnering with Sandfire to develop Botswana’s next large-scale, highly productive, world-class copper mine.
“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.”
Motheo is situated in the Kalahari Copper Belt, an emerging and relatively underexplored copper producing region. It is around 200 km to the southwest of the Khoemacau project, where Perenti, through its subsidiary Barminco, is currently engaged to undertake underground mine development works.
Motheo is held through Sandfire’s subsidiary, Tshukudu Metals, and was approved for development by Sandfire’s Board of Directors in December 2020 following completion of a definitive feasibility study (DFS) on a base case of a 3.2 Mt/y operation with expansion potential.
The DFS outlined an initial 12.5-year operation, underpinned by an updated ore reserve of 39.9 Mt at 0.9% Cu and 12.2 g/t Ag for 360,000 t of contained copper and 15.6 Moz of contained silver, producing on average circa-30,000 t/y of contained copper and 1.2 Moz/y of contained silver over the first 10 years of operations.