TORONTO – Canadian copper miner First Quantum Minerals has shelved plans to sell a stake in its Zambian copper mines, COO Tristan Pascall said on Wednesday.
China’s Jiangxi Copper Co had been speculated as a potential suitor for minority interests in First Quantum’s Kansanshi and Sentinel mines.
Benchmark copper has pulled back after reaching a peak of $10 747.50/t in May, hit by concerns about a resurgence of the pandemic, the potential for central banks to taper stimulus and China's sale of strategic reserves due to concerns about rising raw material prices.
Even so, First Quantum on Tuesday flagged rising costs on the back of higher Zambian royalty rates driven by increased copper prices.
"There has been limited progress" on talks with the Zambian government for terms which would pave the way for an expansion of ore processing at Kansanshi ahead of national elections, Pascall said.
Zambian President Edgar Lungu faces his most serious challenge yet from businessman and serial presidential hopeful Hakainde Hichilema in elections set for August 12.