London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 22 February, 2008 – First Quantum Minerals Limited (FQM) – a mining and metals company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the AIM in London, and claiming to be one of the fastest growing copper producers in the world – has completed a highly successful year, posting record earnings, profits, sales and production .
Releasing its results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2007 here, the company announced net earnings of US$ 520 million (close to R4 billion) or US7.72 (R58) per share – 30% up on the previous year. Its operating cash flow before working capital reached a record US$772 million (R5.8 billion), or US$11.45 (R86) per share.
The company release revealed that operating profit rose more than 20% from just under US$750 million (more than R5.6 billion) in 2006 to almost $914 million (nearly R6.9 billion) last year. Net profit reached US$520 (R3.9 billion) in 2007 – 30% up on the previous year’s US399 million (R3 billion)
“Record copper production of over 226 000 tonnes resulted from expansion at Kansanshi in Zambia, full-year operations at Guelb Moghrein in Mauritania, and the start-up of production at Frontier in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),” said the statement. “Copper sales increased by more than 30% to a record 223 900 tonnes, and net sales grew 41% above the 2006 level,” it added.
Looking ahead in the near term, First Quantum predicted that copper production for 2008 would grow by 37% to approximately 310 000 tonnes.
“Smelter and power capacity in Zambia were likely to remain issues during 2008,” the company said, “and results would be dependent on the extent of power and wet season disruptions. Resolution of current uncertainties were also being sought with the governments of DRC and Zambia,” it added.
The company’s longer term outlook forecast that the Kansanshi expansion project and gold plant construction would drive further improvements in production,; Guelb Moghrein gold plant modifications underway would improve gold recoveries; and the Kolwezi project had been approved and was under construction.
“First Quantum’s copper production profile over the five years from 2009 to 2013 is expected to average 222 000 tonnes at Kansanshi, 43 000 tonnes at Guelb Moghrein, and 81 000 tonnes at Frontier, as a result of planned expansions.