First Quantum Minerals

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First Quantum Minerals Ltd.
FormerlyFirst Quantum Ventures
Zeal Capital
Xenium Resources
S&P/TSX 60 component
HeadquartersVancouver, British Columbia, Canada[1]
Key people
Philip K.R. Pascall (CEO and Chairman)[2]
Number of employees
20,000 (2021)

First Quantum Minerals Ltd. is a Canadian-based mining and metals company[3] whose principal activities include mineral exploration, development and mining. Its main product is copper, which accounts for 80% of revenues as of 2016.[4]

First Quantum's common shares are listed for trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange in Canada (symbol "FM"). Until 2016, First Quantum also maintained a secondary listing on the London Stock Exchange (symbol "FQM"), in the United Kingdom.[5]


First Quantum was founded in 1983 under the name Xenium Resources. It changed its name to Zeal Capital in 1989, First Quantum Ventures in 1993, and First Quantum Minerals in 1996.[6] Its first significant operation was the Bwana Mkubwa mine in Zambia, acquired in 1996.[7] In 2000, First Quantum acquired a partial interest in Mopani Copper Mines, a Zambian copper company. In 2001, it opened the Lonshi Copper Mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Also in 2001, the company acquired the Kansanshi mine in Zambia.

In 2006 First Quantum acquired London-based Adastra Minerals for £140,000,000 in cash and stock.[8] In 2008 First Quantum acquired Toronto-based Scandinavian Minerals Ltd developing the Kevitsa mine in Lapland, northern Finland. In December 2009, First Quantum acquired the Ravensthorpe Nickel Mine in Western Australia for US $340 million from BHP Billiton.[9] In October 2010, First Quantum announced plans to acquire Antares Minerals for $450 million.[10] In November 2010, First Quantum sold its stake in Equinox Minerals.[11] In April 2013, First Quantum successfully completed a hostile takeover of Inmet Mining for CAD$5.1 billion. In June 2013, it was announced that FQM would have to lay off 500 workers at the Sentinel mine in Zambia as it could not sustain their upkeep while waiting for the lifting of a protection order on its operations from the Zambia Environmental Management Agency.[12]

In 2016, it sold the Kevista mine to Boliden AB for US$712 million.[13] In March 2017 First Quantum announced it had launched a $1.6 billion offering of Senior Notes due 2023 and 2025.[14] In December 2017, First Quantum was announced as "the major mining company that will complete the Pebble Limited Partnership" by Ron Thiessen, president and CEO of Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., which is currently the sole owner of the Pebble Partnership.[15]

In 2016, First Quantum was ranked as being among the 13th best of 92 oil, gas, and mining companies on indigenous rights in the Arctic.[16]

In December 2019 Chinese state company Jiangxi Copper agreed to buy a subsidiary of First Quantum's largest shareholder, Pangaea Investment Management Ltd, which holds 17.6 percent of First Quantum, causing shares to spike up to five percent.[17]

Democratic Republic of the Congo[edit]

The Kolwezi tailings project was a major project to extract copper and cobalt from tailings of older mining operations around Kolwezi. It was expected to produce around 70,000 tonnes per year of copper metal and up to 14,000 tonnes per year of cobalt hydroxide.[18] In August 2009, the DRC government revoked First Quantum's license due to a dispute over renegotiating the contract.[19] First Quantum ceased operations in September 2009, throwing about 700 people out of work.[20] First Quantum had spent $750 million on acquiring and developing the property. First Quantum took out an action against the DRC government in the International Chamber of Commerce International Court of Arbitration.[21]

The Frontier Mine is an open pit copper mine located near Sakania. First Quantum obtained exploration licenses in January 2001 and July 2002. Production began in 2007, and in 2010 the mine yielded 322,700 tonnes of copper.[22] The Lonshi Mine is an open pit copper mine that produces high-grade oxide ore that was transported to Zambia for processing at the Bwana Mkubwa SX/EW plant 35 kilometres (22 mi) away. The mine was closed after the governor of Katanga Province, Moses Katumbi, banned the export of ore to Zambia, insisting that it should be refined in Katanga.[23] In May 2010 a Congolese court ruled that FQM's Lonshi and Frontier copper mines had been awarded illegally and that they should revert to state-owned Sodimico.[24] According to FQM the ruling was due to FQM's decision to contest the expropriation of its Kolwezi tailings project, which was later sold to the Kazakh mining company Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation.[25]


First Quantum currently operates mines and development projects in Africa, Australia, Finland, Spain, Turkey and Latin America.[26] In 2016 First Quantum produced 539,458 tonnes of copper, 23,624 tonnes contained tonnes of nickel, 214,012 ounces of gold and 28,862 tonnes of zinc.[27] Copper was responsible for 80% of revenues, gold 10%, and nickel 7%.[4] As of December 2019, First Quantum operates seven mines.

Operating Mines[edit]

  • Kansanshi mine, near Solwezi in Zambia. Main product copper, by-product gold. Open-pit mine, opened in 2005[28]
  • Guelb Mohgrein Mine, near Akjoujt, Mauritania. Main product copper, by-product gold. Open pit mine, opened 2006
  • Sentinel Mine, a copper mine in north-west Zambia opened to commercial production in 2016
  • Çayeli mine, a copper/zinc mine in eastern Turkey. This mine was acquired through the take-over of Inmet Mining Corporation, and started production in 1994
  • Las Cruces mine, a copper mine in Sevilla Province, Spain, acquired through the take-over of Inmet Mining Corporation
  • Pyhäsalmi mine, a copper/zinc mine in central Finland, acquired through the take-over of Inmet Mining Corporation
  • Cobre mine, Panama, a copper mine in Panama acquired through Inmet Mining Corporation, which started commercial production in 2019.[29]

Other Investments/Projects[edit]

Former/Mothballed Mines[edit]

Carbon footprint[edit]

First Quantum Minerals reported Total CO2e emissions (Direct + Indirect) for 31 December 2019 at 3,539 Kt (+1,706/+93% year-over-year).[34]

First Quantum Minerals's Total CO2e emissions (Direct + Indirect) (in kilotonnes) [34]
Dec 2017 Dec 2018 Dec 2019
1,618 1,833 3,539


  1. ^ "First Quantum Minerals Ltd". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  2. ^ "Directors and Management". First Quantum Minerals Ltd. Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  3. ^ "Overview". First Quantum Minerals Ltd. Retrieved 2019-08-02.
  4. ^ a b "First Quantum 2016 Annual Report" (PDF).
  5. ^ Notice of Cancellation of Listing for First Quantum Minerals Ltd. Archived 2017-12-22 at the Wayback Machine Financial Conduct Authority, published: 31 May 2016, accessed: 19 December 2017
  6. ^ "First Quantum AIF 2016" (PDF).
  7. ^ Commons, The Committee Office, House of. "House of Commons - International Development Committee: Written evidence submitted by First Quantum Minerals Ltd". Retrieved 2018-01-11.
  8. ^ "First Quantum wins Adastra". Bonhill Group plc. 12 April 2006.
  9. ^ Canada's First Quantum wins bid to revive Ravensthorpe nickel mine The Australian, published: 10 December 2009, accessed: 10 December 2009
  10. ^ "Mining Journal - First Quantum to acquire Antares for C$460 million". Archived from the original on 2011-09-16. Retrieved 2010-10-18.
  11. ^ "Mining Journal - First Quantum sells Equinox stake for C$653 million". Archived from the original on 2010-11-12. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  12. ^ Zambia: FQM to Lay Off 500 Workers, Africa:, 2013
  13. ^ "First Quantum Minerals Ltd sells Kevitsa mine in Finland for US$712 million to repair balance sheet". Financial Post. 2016-03-10. Retrieved 2018-01-11.
  14. ^ "First Quantum Minerals Announces $1.6 Billion Senior Notes Offering". Retrieved 2017-03-10.
  15. ^ Lasley, Shane Petroleum News "First Quantum enters $1.5B deal for half of Pebble; permitting begins", Vol. 22, No. 52, December 24, 2017. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  16. ^ Overland, Indra (2016). "Ranking Oil, Gas and Mining Companies on Indigenous Rights in the Arctic". ResearchGate. Arran. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  17. ^ Jeff Lewis (December 10, 2019). "Investor deal boosts miner". Financial Post. p. FP4.
  18. ^ "Kingamyambo Musonoi Tailings SARL". International Finance Corp. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
  19. ^ Tim Webb (6 September 2010). "Mining companies clash over Congo copper mine". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-11-07.
  20. ^ "First Quantum Minerals suspends Kolwezi Tailings Copper Mine Development". Proactive Investors. 18 Sep 2009. Retrieved 2011-11-07.
  21. ^ Chanel de Bruyn (30 August 2010). "DRC withdraws permit for First Quantum's Frontier mine". Mining Weekly. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved 2011-11-07.
  22. ^ "Frontier Project". 24hGold. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
  23. ^ Jon A. Nones (2007-12-17). "First Quantum Reopens Frontier, Lonshi Mine Remains Closed". Resource Investor. Retrieved 2011-11-07.
  24. ^ BRENDA BOUW (May 25, 2010). "Investors flee copper miner First Quantum". Globe & Mail. Retrieved 2011-11-07.
  25. ^ "Congo minister denies reports of mine stake sale". Reuters. Aug 17, 2011. Archived from the original on December 16, 2012. Retrieved 2011-11-08.
  26. ^ Lasley, Shane Petroleum News December 24, 2017. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  27. ^ "First Quantum Minerals Announces 2016 Production and Sales". Retrieved 2017-01-26.
  28. ^ Mining Atlas "First Quantum Minerals Operations" Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  29. ^ First export of ore concentrate., Press release, 2019-06-18. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  30. ^ {{Citatioin the Central Province, Zambia,n |title=FQM, Mimosa Ink Mine Deal |url= |year=2012 |archive-url= |publication-place=International | |access-date=28 September 2012 |archive-date=22 January 2013 |url-status=dead}}
  31. ^ Andrew Lanham (5 August 2005). "Kansanshi shows its mettle". Mining Weekly. Retrieved 2011-11-07.
  32. ^ "Zambia : Bwana Mkubwa mine to close". 2010-08-13. Retrieved 2018-01-11.
  33. ^ "Inmet suspends mining at Winston Lake - Reserves to be recalculated during 3-month review period - The Northern Miner". The Northern Miner. 1998-12-14. Retrieved 2018-02-13.
  34. ^ a b "First Quantum Minerals's ESG Datasheet for 2020Q4" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 28, 2021. Alt URL

External links[edit]