Lusaka, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 31 October 2008 – First Quantum Minerals Limited – an emerging mining and metals company, and one of the faster growing copper producers in Africa – is evaluating the Fishtie mine in Kashime, Zambia, as a potential source of copper ore for processing at its Bwana Mkubwa mine, which suspended operations last week.
Bloomberg News reports that the Vancouver-based company announced in a notice published in Zambia’s Post newspaper that it was completing an environmental assessment of Fishtie, which will be given to the Zambian government for approval.
“The uncertainty in the international financial markets, coupled with the unclear fiscal and legislative regimes within Zambia, will be considered in forming an opinion on the viability of this project,” First Quantum said.
Copper processing at the Bwana Mkubwa mine was suspended earlier this month because of a shortage of raw materials. The main source for Bwana Mkubwa was ore from the Lonshi mine in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where exports have been halted since November 2007 after the border between the two countries was closed. The Bwana Mkubwa mine has “exhausted all known sources of viable ore within Zambia,” First Quantum said.
The company will soon have to begin dismissing some workers because of the temporary closure of Bwana Mkubwa, it added.