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DeGrussa copper-gold mine. Image: Sandfire Resources

Sandfire Resources has continued to operate the DeGrussa mine in Western Australia at full capacity, achieving strong production and milling rates during the first half of the June quarter.

The company has maintained employment and preserved its supply chains, sales routes and customer contracts.

Sandfire produced 9932 tonnes of contained copper and 6500 ounces of contained gold at DeGrussa during the first half of the June quarter.

The company has produced 62,856 tonnes of copper and 35,222 ounces of contained gold at DeGrussa in year to date, tracking towards this year’s production guidance of 70,000–72,000 tonnes of copper and 38,000–40,000 ounces of gold.

Meanwhile, the company continues its focus on the Tshukudu (T3) copper-silver project in Botswana, despite drilling and exploration activities being suspended in compliance with the coronavirus lockdown in Africa.

While the shutdown has been extended into May, Sandfire continued to progress the feasibility study for Tshukudu, focussing on mine design and planning, plant engineering, power supply, site infrastructure and operating costs.

The company has also continued drilling at the Greater Doolgunna project in Western Australia and is working to complete a feasibility study for the Black Butte project in Montana, the United States, following a positive record of decision for the project.

Sandfire managing director and chief executive Karl Simich commended Sandfire’s staff for their response to working through the pandemic during the past few months.

“With our focus on dealing with the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am delighted to say the organisation has responded incredibly well and the strength of our people, systems and culture has shone through,” Simich said.

“The DeGrussa operations continue to perform strongly and we are on track based on mid-June 2020 quarter production numbers for a strong finish to the 2020 financial year.

“We are also looking forward to the imminent recommencement of drilling at the exciting A4 Dome discovery in Botswana and to progressing the optimised feasibility study on the T3 project.

“There is a lot going on across the business as we continue to build on the robust foundations at DeGrussa to realise our vision of becoming a multi-asset international base and precious metals company.”