London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 20 October 2010 – First Quantum Minerals Limited “’ growing, Africa-focused mineral exploration, development and mining company “’ reports that, principally due to the suspension of operations at its Frontier mine, its third quarter production of 76 600t of copper was 18% below the 93 486t in the same quarter of 2009.
Confirming this in a statement issued here, First Quantum reiterated that the Frontier mine closure had followed the unjustified withdrawal of its mining permits by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) mining registry. Other contributing factors had been a four-day shutdown of the sulphide circuit at the Kansanshi mine; and abnormally wet weather at Guelb Moghrein.
The statement added that the company had produced a total of 247 100t of copper in the first nine months of 2010 “’ 10% below output for the same period last year.
It went on to say that First Quantum had also produced 46 700 ounces of gold in the third quarter of 2010, and 142 800oz in the first nine months “’ a slight increase over 2009 in both cases.
The statement added that finished copper inventory at 30 September 2010 had decreased to approximately 36 900t from the 30 June 2010 level of 40 700t.
The company’s updated production forecast for 2010 is for 322 000t of copper and 195 000oz ounces of gold. For 2011, the forecast is for 305 000t of copper and 210 000oz of gold. It also expects to begin nickel production in 2011 with the commissioning of the Ravensthorpe project, planned for the second half of the year.
First Quantum bought Ravensthorpe from BHP Billiton for $US350 million (R2.4 billion) in February after BHP had closed the operation in January 2009 due to low nickel prices and high costs.