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Sandfire completes acquisition of MATSA

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Global Mining Review,

Sandfire Resources Ltd has completed the US$1.865 million acquisition of 100% of the MATSA Mining Complex in south-western Spain.


  • Sandfire’s US$1.865 million acquisition of the MATSA Mining Complex in Spain, as announced on 23 September 2021, has completed with effect from 1 February 2022.
  • This significant milestone follows the receipt of key approvals for the transaction from the relevant Spanish government authorities, including approval by the Foreign Direct Investment and Competition Authority in late December 2021.
  • The consideration was funded through a combination of existing cash reserves, the AUS$1.248 million equity raising completed last year and the proceeds of the US$650 million MATSA syndicated debt facility and AUS$200 million corporate debt facility, both of which are fully drawn.
  • Key integration activities are well progressed to ensure an orderly and efficient transition of the MATSA Operations into Sandfire’s global business.
  • Following completion, Sandfire retains a strong working capital position to fund its ongoing operations with post-acquisition cash reserves, excluding acquired MATSA cash, of AUS$384 million (US$271 million) at 1 February 2022.
  • The landmark transaction immediately transforms Sandfire into one of the largest copper-focused producers on the ASX.
  • The MATSA Operations will form the cornerstone of Sandfire’s business over the next decade and beyond, marking the beginning of an exciting new era for the company.

The formal completion of the transaction follows satisfaction of the outstanding conditions precedent, including Foreign Investment Authority approval in relation to Foreign Direct Investment in Spain and Competition Authority approval in late December 2021.

With the successful completion of the transaction, Sandfire will exercise operational control and economic ownership at MATSA effective from 1 February 2022.

The transformational acquisition, which was announced on 23 September 2021, delivers Sandfire 100% ownership of MATSA, located in the world-class Iberian Pyrite Belt in the Huelva Province of Andalusia in south-western Spain.

MATSA is a substantial polymetallic mining complex comprising three underground mines and a 4.7 million tpy central processing facility, with cutting-edge technology and infrastructure and an extensive resource base with significant growth potential.

The surrounding exploration package, comprising a 2450 km2 portfolio of mineral rights in exploration in Spain and neighbouring Portugal, offers substantial long-term exploration upside and organic growth potential.

Sandfire will provide updated production and cost guidance for the remainder of FY22 in the coming weeks following operational control and production plan reviews.

MATSA integration

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 high-quality 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 3800 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.

“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 copper-focused producers on the ASX, with high-quality 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.

“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 stakeholders.”

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