Australia’s Sandfire Resources completes acquisition of MATSA mining complex in Spain from Trafigura and Mubadala Investment

Mubadala Investment Company and Trafigura have confirmed the completion of the sale of 100% of Minas de Aguas Teñidas (MATSA) to Australian mining and exploration company Sandfire Resources effective February 1, 2022. This follows receipt of the necessary regulatory approvals. The sale is the culmination of significant investment in the MATSA mining complex by both Trafigura and Mubadala Investment Company, resulting in a world-class mining asset with a highly experienced workforce.

MATSA owns the Aguas Teñidas, Sotiel and Magdalena mines in southern Spain which produce copper, zinc and lead concentrates, with silver by-products. MATSA uses modern, mechanised underground mining methods to source ore from its three operations, which then feeds a centralised mineral processing plant at Aguas Teñidas. This plant has a feed capacity of 4.7 Mt/y. As part of the sale agreement, Trafigura Group will retain the life of mine concentrate offtake agreement for 100% of MATSA offtake, building on Sandfire’s already well-established relationship with Trafigura.

Sandfire says it has a strong operational base and a clear strategy to grow into an international, diversified and sustainable mining company. It stated: “The transformational acquisition, which was announced on 23 September 2021, delivers Sandfire 100% ownership of MATSA, located in the worldclass Iberian Pyrite Belt in the Huelva Province of Andalusia in southwestern Spain.” MATSA has an extensive resource base with significant growth potential. The surrounding exploration package, comprising a 2,450 km2 portfolio of mineral rights in exploration in Spain and neighbouring Portugal, also offers substantial longterm exploration upside and organic growth potential.

The new owner added: “Key integration activities are well advanced with the objective of ensuring an orderly and efficient transition of the MATSA Operations into Sandfire’s global business at completion. During the period of integration, Sandfire will focus on minimising business disruption at the MATSA Operations, working with its highquality management and operational teams to ensure continuity of existing operations while maintaining a shared commitment to the highest standards of safety, responsibility and sustainability.”

Karl Simich, Sandfire’s Managing Director and CEO, said: This is a historic day for Sandfire. On behalf of our Board and senior leadership team, I am absolutely delighted to announce the completion of our acquisition of the MATSA Mining Complex and to welcome the MATSA team into Sandfire. Today marks the beginning of an exciting new era for Sandfire, with our business expanding to an organisation with a workforce of around 3,800 direct employees and contractors around the globe. This is an incredibly exciting moment for everyone involved with our business, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has worked so hard to bring this transaction to a conclusion.”

He continues: “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. With the acquisition of MATSA, Sandfire immediately becomes one of the largest copperfocused producers on the ASX, with highquality operations in Spain and Australia and an impressive growth pipeline and exploration portfolio that we believe will continue to drive our growth for many years to come. Our values, principles and skills in copper mining and exploration have been instrumental to our success and we will continue to apply these as we take this next major step. I am looking forward to spending time on site at the MATSA Operations over the next few weeks to help lead the integration process. As part of this, I have given a commitment to the MATSA team to provide certainty, stability and security while minimising business disruption during this period of integration.

Simich concluded: “While this marks the completion of the transaction, it represents just the start of our journey with MATSA. In the days, weeks and months ahead, we will all be working incredibly hard to integrate MATSA into Sandfire to create a single unified team who will be working hard to strengthen the future of the operation and unlock the enormous exploration potential of our large landholding in Spain and Portugal. With a larger team, broader expertise and greater capability and strength across our business, we are all looking forward to the vast opportunities that this new chapter will deliver for all of our key