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The day Sandfire became a copper kingpin


Sandfire Resources has added the MATSA mining complex in Spain to its portfolio after completing its $US1.865 billion ($2.61 billion) transaction for the operation.

Located in the Iberian Pyrite Belt in Spain’s Huelva province of Andalusia, the MATSA mining complex is a large-scale copper operation comprising three underground mines and a 4.7 million tonne-per-annum processing facility.

MATSA also contains a 2450-square-kilometre exploration portfolio surrounding the complex, offering Sandfire long-term growth opportunities.

Sandfire funded the transaction through existing cash reserves, a $1.2 billion fully underwritten equity raise along with proceeds from a $US650 million MATSA syndicated debt facility and $200 million corporate debt facility.

The Australian miner retains a strong financial position following the transaction, with post-acquisition cash reserves of $384 million, excluding acquired MATSA cash, as of February 1.

Sandfire expects MATSA to be a long-life and low-cost operation, with around 12 years of mine life remaining based on resources and exploration potential.

“Today marks the beginning of an exciting new era for Sandfire, with our business expanding to an organisation with a workforce of around 3800 direct employees and contractors around the globe,” Sandfire managing director and chief executive officer Karl Simich said.

“Our vision for Sandfire is to become an international diversified and sustainable mining company, and the completion of this transaction represents a major step closer to realising this aspiration.”

The new complex will position Sandfire as one of Australia’s largest copper producers and complements the company’s established DeGrussa copper operation in Western Australia.

DeGrussa produced 18,675 tonnes of copper in the December quarter of 2021 and has a production guidance of between 64,000-68,000 tonnes of copper for the 2022 financial year.

Sandfire was trading at $6.83 at the time of writing with a market cap of $2.8 billion.

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