Vancouver, Canada — MININGREVIEW.COM — 30 August 2010 – Canadian-based exploration, development and mining company First Quantum Minerals Limited has suspended operations at its Frontier copper mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), following the withdrawal of its mining permit by a government agency.
“DRC mining registry CAMI’s withdrawal of the permit amounts to an expropriation of company property,” First Quantum said in a statement issued here. It explained that it had received a letter from state-owned mining company SODIMICO demanding that First Quantum stop mining and vacate Frontier.
“The contents of the letter render it impossible to continue safe and orderly operations at Frontier,” First Quantum CEO Philip Pascall said in the statement. “Our immediate concerns are to ensure the safety of our employees.”
First Quantum said the government action over Frontier had been in response to the company seeking arbitration to resolve a yearlong dispute over its Kolwezi mining project. Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation “’ a London-based mining company “’ said last week that it had acquired the licence to Kolwezi. First Quantum said in response that along with its partners it still held the “exclusive rights” to the project.