09 June 2021 – Australian listed Sandfire Resources’ subsidiary, Tshukudu Metals Botswana, has awarded the open pit mining contract for the T3 pit at its Motheo Copper Project in Botswana to African Mining Services (AMS). AMS is the surface mining business of diversified Australian based mining services group Perenti Global.
The contract, which has an estimated value of USD496-million (AUD648-million), is the largest single operational contract for the new Motheo Project covering a period of 7 years and 3 months, with provision for a one-year extension.
The contract was awarded following a competitive 3-stage tender process which saw a number of key factors taken into consideration when selecting the preferred contractor. These included citizen economic empowerment, safety culture, equipment suitability and availability, commercial terms and identified improvement opportunities.
According to Sandfire’s managing director and CEO, Karl Simich, AMS has agreed to form a 70:30 Joint Venture with a suitable local Botswana partner or partners. The JV is expected to be finalised ahead of commencement of mining in early 2022.
AMS has been operating in Africa for more than 30 years. Its parent company, ASX listed diversified mining services group Perenti, already has a presence in Botswana through Barminco, their underground mining division, at the large-scale Khoemacau Copper Mine located 200km north-east of Motheo.
Full-scale construction of the USD279-million (AUD364-million) mine development is expected to commence immediately upon receipt of the mining licence, which is expected within the next few weeks. Mining is expected to get underway early in 2022 and first production early in 2023. The Motheo mine has an initial mine life of 12.5 years based on production from the T3 pit. The initial development will generate up to 1000 jobs during the construction phase and 600 direct full-time jobs during operations, with at least 95% of the total mine workforce expected to be made of up of Botswana citizens.
“As one of the largest contract mining companies in Africa, AMS has vast experience working across the African continent, and with a strong focus on safety and sustainability, they represent a perfect fit with our organisation. By partnering with a group with deep roots and strong community and stakeholder relationships in Africa, we have a unique opportunity to work together to create a lasting, positive legacy in Botswana and deliver significant sustainability and ESG outcomes,” says Simich.
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