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DeGrussa mining project on track to export as scheduled

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Exports from the DeGrussa mining project are expected to begin next quarter, miner Sandfire Resources says. The first chalcocite direct shipping ore (DSO) was mined from the open pit in February, with the first shipment planned for shipping from Port Hedland in April. "Moving from the discovery in April 2009 to mining the first saleable product less than three years later...is an incredible team effort," said Karl Simich, Managing Director of Sandfire Resources. The DSO will be sold under two sales contracts, with product sales agreements having been put in place for all DSO. Discussions of concentrate sale are also in the advanced stages, while the shipping of concentrate is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2012. The mining of sulphide ore underground has also begun, with the DeGrussa underground development progressing beyond 1.5km in depth. Located 900km north of Perth in an established mining area, construction of the DeGrussa mine and its infrastructure is more than 65 percent complete. Construction of the process plant is more than half complete, with all key infrastructure in place. Simich has marked 2012 as a pivotal year for the company as it makes the transition to production. Sandfire Resources believes there is potential for additional copper production and other revenue streams in DeGrussa’s first three years of operation. The company is conducting research into ways to increase output from the DeGrussa project. It is developing a regional geology model for the project that will include deep drilling, sterilisation and pre-development drilling. Mapping and geophysical interpretation will also be involved. The company is also conducting metallurgical testwork with the aim of converting oxide resources to ore reserves for inclusion in its revenue stream. Sandfire Resources has forecasted $4.2 billion in revenue from the DeGrussa project, with a life-of-mine expectancy of at least seven years.

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