The copper processing
plant at First Quantum’s
Kansanshi mine in Zambia
Vancouver, Canada — 23 July 2012 – Copper and nickel producer First Quantum Minerals Limited “’ which is in the midst of expansion plans in Zambia “’ gained the most in more than seven months, rising 10% to C$18.27 in Toronto.

Bloomberg News reports that the Canadian-based company is raising capacity at its Kansanshi copper mine in Zambia. It is also planning the development of its Sentinel mine in Zambia and construction of a copper smelter at Kansanshi.

“The company has a significant, low-cost organic growth pipeline, a strong balance sheet, high quality management and is a potential acquisition target in the longer-term,” Jefferies analysts Christopher LaFemina and Seth Rosenfeld said in a note. They have a buy rating on First Quantum and added that it was their top pick among copper producers trading in the U.K.

First Quantum “is at the beginning of a major growth phase and could triple its copper production capacity over the next 5 to 6 years,” David Charles, an analyst at Dundee Securities Corp. in Toronto, said in a note. Charles initiated coverage of the company with a buy recommendation and a price target of C$26.50.

Outside Africa, First Quantum restarted the Ravensthorpe nickel mine in Western Australia in October, almost two years after agreeing to buy the asset from BHP Billiton.  It is also building a nickel and copper mine in Finland and is studying a copper project in Peru.

Source: Bloomberg News. For more information, click here.