FQM output soars

Sentinel Mine under construction
Sentinel Mine under construction
FIRST Quantum Minerals (FQM) increased copper production by 36 per cent to 114,488 tonnes in third quarter, bolstered by enhanced performance at its Zambian unit, Kansanshi Mining in Solwezi.

According to the 2013 third quarter report highlighting the mining giant’s performance between June 30 and September 30, Kansanshi Mining produced 71,037 tonnes of copper contributing 62 per cent to the total amounts of copper produced across FQM’s global units.
FQM chief executive officer and chairperson Phillip Pascall said overall copper production at Kansanshi was relatively unchanged compared to that of the third quarter of 2012.
“Ongoing mine pit development work continues to improve access to various ore types, specifically sulphide, to coincide with the plant expansions,” he said.
Further it was highlighted that Kansanshi minin produced 43,904 ounces of gold in the third quarter of 2013, accounting for 25 per cent of the mineral produced by FQM’s global subsidiaries.
“Gold production was higher than that recorded in the third quarter of 2012 as a result of gold circuit enhancements and the re-processing of stockpiled gold plant tailings,” Mr Pascall noted.
FQM also romped up nickel production at its subsidiaries by 26 per cent up to 12,485 tonnes in the third quarter of 2013.
The report also highlighted that copper production costs went down by 19 per cent to $1.16 per pound, while nickel was produced at 21 per cent lower at US$4.90 per pound.
FQM’s financial position strengthened further with the firm generating a cash flow of $410.3 million by operations and netted comparative net earnings of $143.6 million or $0.24 per share.
“Our overall cost of production, for both copper and nickel, improved further in the quarter as a result of our continued focus on process optimisation and higher by-product credits, especially with Kevitsa’s substantial addition of platinum and palladium to our product mix.
“With the completion of our major projects in Zambia and several optimisation initiatives currently underway at our operations, we believe we are well-positioned to maintain or better our competitive cost position in the industry,” Mr Pascall said.


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