Project News

August 10, 2023

Official Opening of the Motheo Copper Mine

Opening ceremony signals the beginning of a modern, long-life processing hub in the highly prospective Kalahari Copper Belt.

Sandfire Resources Limited (Sandfire, or the Company) is pleased to celebrate a key milestone, with the official opening of the Motheo Copper Mine in Botswana by His Excellency Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, the President of the Republic of Botswana.

The official opening ceremony was held on site at Motheo, approximately 70km north-east of Ghanzi, with a number of guests in attendance including representatives of the local community and central Government, Sandfire staff, contracting partners and suppliers.

Sandfire’s Board approved the development of the Motheo Copper Mine in December 20201 and first copper concentrate was produced less than three years later, in May 2023. We anticipate a rapid ramp-up in throughput towards the initial 3.2Mtpa processing rate, with nameplate capacity already achieved across a number of shifts and copper recoveries of around 90% recorded.

With construction and commissioning activities for the 3.2Mtpa development effectively completed on time, and an inaugural shipment scheduled for August, the Motheo team is focused on the planned rapid and low-cost expansion to 5.2Mtpa, which is expected to see annualised contained copper production increase to more than 50kt in FY20252.

Over its initial ten year life, Motheo is expected to generate attractive returns for our shareholders and deliver significant value to the people of Botswana through the payment of taxes and royalties, and long-term employment, training and development opportunities.

Sandfire Managing Director and CEO, Brendan Harris, said: “The official opening ceremony marks an important milestone for Sandfire and provides an opportunity to acknowledge the community, our people and the many contractors who have contributed to the timely and safe development of our newest operation.

“Our visit to Motheo also reminds us of the spirit of optimism that forms the backbone of our Botswanan team and we couldn’t be prouder of their dedication, effort and drive to continuously improve as we seek to establish Sandfire as a sustainable, international miner and copper producer of significance.

“The official opening of the Motheo Copper Mine solidifies our strategic position in the highly prospective Kalahari Copper Belt. As we sharpen our exploration focus on near mine targets, we see significant potential to extend the life of Motheo and be a contributor to the local economy for decades to come.

“I would like to thank the many stakeholders who have played a role in the development of Motheo. The Government of Botswana for the supportive and stable investment environment they create, our dedicated and highly professional team, our shareholders and financiers, and our contractors and suppliers. Motheo Project Director Ian Kerr deserves special mention for his unwavering focus and somewhat remarkable delivery of the project safely, on time and on budget, despite the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on supply chains and general mobility.”

Sandfire’s Chair, John Richards, said: “On behalf of the Board, I wish to thank the Government of Botswana for the trust placed in Sandfire to develop and operate Motheo to the highest safety and environmental standards.

“As a proud stakeholder of the nation of Botswana, Sandfire will continue to work with local communities, businesses, and government to enable Motheo to operate safely and successfully over the longer term.

“I would also like to thank the Sandfire team for delivering this wonderful project, and make special mention of Jason Grace, our Chief Operating Officer, who was instrumental in keeping the project on track. Sandfire has proven project development capability and I’m confident that Motheo will be an enormous success for our company and provide a lasting benefit to our many stakeholders for years to come.” 

About Sandfire

Sandfire Resources is one of the largest copper-focused companies on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

Where We Operate

Our operations extend across Australia, Botswana, Spain and the USA.


Learn about our approach to sustainability, and how it’s embedded across our business.


Keep up to date with the latest news and announcements on our outstanding base of operating assets and strong growth opportunities.



Keep up to date with latest news, stories and releases from across Sandfire.