Spain and Portugal Exploration

Exploration remains at the heart of Sandfire’s long-term Growth strategy.


Sandfire’s MATSA Copper Operations are located in the Iberian Pyrite Belt of Spain. The Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB), with more than 1,600 Mt of massive sulphides originally in place and about 250 Mt of stockwork ore, is one of the most outstanding ore provinces of Europe, hosting one of the largest concentrations of sulphides in the earth’s crust. (Tornos F., 2004).

Sandfire’s surrounding exploration package comprises a 2,450km2 tenement holding, extending across Spain and Portugal, and offers Sandfire substantial long-term exploration upside and organic growth potential.

In the Spanish side of the IPB the deposits can be grouped in three zones according to their location and geological significance.

Northern Zone

The Northern Zone has the highest number of deposits, along a 26 km long and 5-10 km wide band. It includes small to medium size deposits, although it also includes two large deposits, including Aguas Teñidas and Magdalena. Base metal and gold contents make it the most attractive for mine prospecting. From west to east, the most important mines are: San Telmo, Lomero-Poyatos, Aguas Teñidas, Cueva de la Mora, Monte Romero, Magdalena, San Miguel, Angostura, Esperanza, Concepción, San Platón and Poderosa. Sandfire’s licences cover a significant portion of the Northern Zone.

Middle Zone

The middle zone of the IPB has the smallest number of massive sulphide deposits. There are only two: La Zarza and Rio Tinto. The massive sulphides in Rio Tinto display intermediate characteristics between those located in the northern and those in the southern zones of the IPB. In the western part of this zone, close to the Portugal border, there are some small and rich deposits like Vuelta Falsa, Sierrecilla and Romanera deposit which could be considered as a medium size deposit. Sandfire’s licenses are in close proximity to these mineral deposits.

Southern Zone

The Southern Zone holds most of the larger-scale deposits: Aznalcollar–Los Frailes, Sotiel Migollas, Masa Valverde, Tharsis, and several other smaller deposits. They share a series of common features such as slate host-rock, stratabound ore body, presence of a well-defined underlying “stockwork”, lack of zonation of metal contents, and high pyrite content. Its formation corresponds to a single event of Late Famennian (Devonian) age, close to the boundary with the Carboniferous (González et al., 2002). Sandfire’s licences cover a wide area between Tharsis and far to the East of Sotiel.

Visit our ASX Announcements page  for updates on our exploration projects.

Sandfire is a sustainable mining company transforming into a global copper producer of significance

About Sandfire

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

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


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