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Quantum expects 14% drop in copper output

Frontier copper
mine in the DRC
London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 13 October 2010 – Canadian-based exploration, development and mining company First Quantum Minerals Limited expects copper production to fall about 14% this year, mainly as a result of losing its licence to mine at its the Frontier operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The company was forecasting copper production of 365 000t in 2010.

“You have got to knock off the fact that we only got less than a half year’s production at Frontier,” president Clive Newall told Reuters here.

Frontier was forecast to produce about 90 000t of copper, implying overall copper output for the miner of about 320 000t. It produced about 374 000t in 2009.

“Production in 2011 won’t be as high, as we are losing a whole year at Frontier, but we are making up quite a bit from Kansanshi and Mauritania, so it’s not going to be a heck of a lot less than this year,” he added.

Output at the 80-percent owned Kansanshi mine in Zambia will rise in 2011 and there will be a significant increase in output at its Guelb Moghrein mine in Mauritania, Newall said.

The company has three court cases outstanding “’ two versus the DRC government and one against Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC) “’ relating to the withdrawal of the Frontier and Kolwezi licences in the DRC . It was stripped of them after the DRC government claimed they had been illegally granted.