KANSANSHI Copper Mine, a subsidiary of First Quantum Minerals (FQM), says it expects to employ an additional 2,400 people after new projects are in operation.
FQM chief executive officer and chairman Philip Pascall said progress has been made at Sentinel and smelter.
“Solid progress was made with construction of our projects. The Kansanshi expansion, Sentinel and smelter projects are now within 18 months of commissioning and start-up.
“When these projects are in operation, they are expected to employ an additional 2,400 people, add 445,000 tonnes of new copper production capacity and further lower our unit operating cost,” Mr Pascall said.
He was commenting on the company’s second quarter 2013 financial results.
Mr Pascall said the results reflected continued strong performance at all the firm’s operations, and the successful integration of the mines acquired with Inmet.
“ In particular, Kansanshi and Guelb Moghrein both turned in higher year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter copper production and Ravensthorpe’s output came in just shy of the quarterly record set in first quarter, despite the two week bi-annual acid plant shutdown,” he said.
He said good cost control combined with the addition of the acquired operations to its asset base effectively reduced the production cost of both copper and nickel.
This low cost profile enables First Quantum to be profitable, and to generate healthy cash flows, even in low metal price environments.
“Our balance sheet and operational cash flow continue to be strong. During the quarter, we repaid the US$2.5 billion of short-term financing and are well advanced with establishing more suitable longer-term debt instruments to help us maintain our financial flexibility and meet our funding requirements,” he said.
The firm’s strong financial position was maintained at US$281.6 million of cash flow generated by operations with US$778 million of cash
Meanwhile, FQM announced comparative net earnings of US$106.1 million or US$0.18 per share for the three months ended June 30, 2013 inclusive of US$19.5 million or US$0.04 per share of unfavourable, recurring acquisition-related adjustments.
The firm says copper production increased by 44 percent to 103,694 tonnes, nickel production went up 33 percent to 10,875 tonnes while gold production went up 44 percent to 63,567 ounces.