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DeGrussa copper-gold mine. Image: Sandfire Resources

Sandfire Resources has continued to operate the DeGrussa copper-gold mine at full capacity, with production in line with previous output despite withdrawing its 2020 financial year guidance.

The Western Australian company produced 17,936 tonnes of copper and 9352 ounces of gold during the March quarter, a slight decline from 18,258 tonnes of copper and 10,723 ounces of gold in the December period.

Sandfire has introduced coronavirus measures to boost social distancing across work sites and in transit; extended sick and compassionate leave for its employees; and enhanced communication of health and wellbeing programs.

The company also introduced other measures such as separating the exploration team from the production team in the Doolgunna region, with the exploration team based at a separate accommodation camp south of DeGrussa.

“The health and well-being of our people, contractors and stakeholders is of paramount importance,” Sandfire stated in an ASX announcement.

“Sandfire has implemented and will continue to proactively implement appropriate protocols to minimise the potential transmission of COVID-19.”

The company also continued its exploration in Botswana until late March when all drilling and exploration was suspended in line with the nation’s 28-day lockdown.

Sandfire had continued the T3 copper-silver project feasibility study, focussing on open pit optimisation, plant scale and operating costs prior to the lockdown.

Meanwhile, Sandfire Resources America temporarily closed the White Sulphur Springs office in Montana to protect its workforce and the local community.

Work activities are continuing with staff working remotely, in line with instructions from Montana’s local authorities.