Sandfire’s Tshukudu Operations include the T3 Copper-Silver Project. The T3 Project is a significant sediment-hosted copper and silver deposit, located in the underexplored Kalahari Copper Belt in Botswana.
The Project, held through in country-subsidiary, Tshukudu Metals, was acquired through Sandfire’s acquisition of MOD Resources Ltd in October 2019.
Botswana is a safe, democratic, politically stable and mining-friendly jurisdiction with a supportive government (rated number 1 in Africa and number 32 globally by the Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies).
Botswana is committed to further diversifying its resource sector, which currently contributes ~80% of the country’s exports and ~30% of its GDP. The nation has a skilled workforce, good infrastructure and sound mining legislation and environmental controls. There is strong local support for T3, with the project able to leverage off extensive local infrastructure and support.
T3 is the first of what is anticipated to be an extensive pipeline of resource development projects in Botswana.
'Tshukudu', meaning rhino in the Setswana language is responsible for the day-to day running and operations of the 25km2 T3 Project area, which covers the planned T3 copper mine and processing plant. Tshukudu works seamlessly with specialists from Australia and Sandfire’s executive management team, liaising on a daily basis.
Tshukudu has opened a office in the nearby town of Ghanzi, which is the focal point for managing human resources and community relations in the Ghanzi District.
About the T3 Copper-Silver Project
The T3 Project hosts a current Mineral Resource estimate of 60.2 million tonnes grading 1.0% copper and 14.0g/t silver for 590,400 tonnes of contained copper and 26.9 million ounces of contained silver, including an Ore Reserve of 34.4 million tonnes grading 1.0% copper and 13.2g/t silver for 342,700 tonnes of contained copper and 14.6Moz of contained silver. View further details of Sandfire’s Group Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources here.
A Feasibility Study completed by the MOD team in March 2019 confirmed a viable open pit copper development with a mine life of +11 years. Sandfire has commenced optimisation of the current Feasibility Study for the T3 Project and expects to publish an updated Feasibility Study and Ore Reserve in the June 2020 Quarter ahead of a Decision to Mine. This makes T3 one of the few high-quality mid-tier copper assets globally that is planned to come into development in the next 2-3 years.
We have also recently appointed highly experienced mining executive Ian Kerr as T3 Mine Project Director, to manage all studies and development of the T3 Mine in Botswana and all associated infrastructure. This includes completion of the Feasibility Study, management of the final design and engineering, regulatory approvals, contractor selection, construction, commissioning and handover to the operational team.
In parallel, Sandfire will progress the permitting activities for T3 with approval of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) document expected in early CY2020, triggering a public review period and subsequent Mining Licence Application.
The Company has also continued exploration drilling activities in Botswana, which are expected to ramp-up as part of a major new district-scale program commencing in early CY2020. Read more on these initiatives here.
Sustainability Snapshot – Supporting the CL Woolcott Vulture Restaurant
Sandfire’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Tshukudu Metals, supports community programs and initiatives in Botswana through a sponsorship and donations program, administered by a dedicated Community Relations Committee. Programs include the CL Woolcott Vulture Restaurant, an important facility that provides education around conservation and protection of the African Vulture. One of the ways to protect vultures is to feed them fresh, poison-free and lead-free meat from carcasses at a regulated Vulture Restaurant. The CL Woolcott Vulture Restaurant is regulated by a board of experts including veterinarians who help regulate and monitor the carcasses fed at the feeding site. The restaurant serves as an education hub for schools and local communities, and forms part of wider scientific research and conservation projects.
Read more about our sustainability initiatives here.