Home » First Quantum in Talks with Jiangxi Over Zambian Mines Amid Market Challenges

First Quantum in Talks with Jiangxi Over Zambian Mines Amid Market Challenges

First Quantum Minerals Explores Sale of Stake in Zambian Mines

by Ikeoluwa Ogungbangbe

First Quantum Minerals, the Canadian mining company facing financial turmoil following the closure of its flagship copper mine in Panama, is reportedly in discussions with Chinese state-owned Jiangxi Copper Corporation regarding a potential stake sale in its Zambian operations.

According to Reuters, Jiangxi has approached First Quantum, but as of now, no formal agreement has been reached.

First Quantum Minerals, based in Vancouver, is the sole owner of the Sentinel copper mine and holds an 80% stake in the Kansanshi mine, both located in Zambia. These Zambian assets are of significant importance to the company.

Jiangxi Copper Corporation, which holds a prominent position as First Quantum’s top shareholder, is contemplating the acquisition of one of the two mines or a stake in either of them.

In addition to its existing operations, First Quantum has also been actively exploring the Fishtie copper project, situated near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, since 2012. Recently, both companies announced their intention to expedite development efforts with the goal of commencing production by 2026.

These discussions come amidst speculations about First Quantum’s future, including rumours of a potential takeover by fellow Canadian miner Barrick Gold. Barrick Gold has been strategically expanding into the copper sector, with plans to double its copper production to 1 billion pounds by 2031. The company has already allocated $2 billion for the development of the Lumwana super pit expansion in Zambia and holds a stake in the Reko Diq mine in Pakistan, anticipated to be among the world’s top 10 largest mines upon reaching production in 2028.

First Quantum Minerals has announced its intention to provide an update on its plan to address debt obligations by the end of January, shedding light on the company’s path forward in the face of financial challenges.

The mining industry is closely watching these developments, as they could potentially reshape the landscape of copper mining in Zambia and influence the strategies of major players in the global mining arena.

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