Sandfire's major producing asset is the Degrussa copper mine in the Pilbara.

Sandfire increases stake in US copper project for $7.1m

Monday, 31 July, 2017 - 11:14

West Perth-based miner Sandfire Resources has further lifted its interest in the Black Butte copper project in the US, taking its total share of project vehicle Tintina Resources to 78.1 per cent.

The $7.1 million transaction lifted Sandfire’s stake in Tintina by nearly 17 percentage points, with the shares acquired from New York-based Electrum Global Holdings.

Sandfire bought into the project in 2014, taking a 36 per cent slice through a share placement.

As recently as November, Sandfire had increased exposure to the project, located in the US state of Montana, as part of a rights issue.

That moved Sandfire’s share from 57 per cent to 61 per cent at a cost of around $4 million.

The November raising was undertaken at 6 cents per share, whereas the most recent transavtion was at a price of around 13 cents per share.

Sandfire managing director Karl Simich said the acquisition cost was about US3 cents for every pound of contained copper in resource.

“By any measure, this means we have acquired close to 80 per cent of substantial high-grade copper resource comprising almost 600,000 tonnes of copper at a very attractive cost,” he said.

“Given the positive outlook for copper as the market continues to tighten, we see this as a great opportunity to consolidate our growth pipeline with an asset which has the potential to deliver high grade, low-cost production for many years into the future.

“At the same time, the development of the Black Butte project represents an opportunity to bring significant jobs and economic opportunities to the state of Montana and to showcase a world-class development plan which is consistent with our own environmental credentials.

“We look forward to working closely with chief executive John Shanahan and his team at Tintina as the project continues to move forward towards development, coming on stream during what is shaping up as a very exciting time in the global copper market.”