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FQM Consider Sale of Zambian Mines Amid Financial Strain

First Quantum Minerals (FQM), a prominent Canadian mining company, is reportedly considering the sale of a stake in its Zambian copper mines as a strategic move to alleviate financial strain. This decision comes in the wake of the enforced closure of the company’s major copper mine in Panama.

Facing setbacks in Panama due to regulatory action leading to the closure of one of the world’s largest copper mines, First Quantum Minerals is now exploring options to stabilize its financial standing. 

Rumors circulate that the company is in discussions with the Chinese state-owned Jiangxi Copper Corp regarding the potential sale of its Zambian copper assets. However, specifics of the deal are yet to be finalized, leaving the outcome uncertain.

Jiangxi Copper Corporation, the largest shareholder of First Quantum, has reportedly engaged in talks about potentially acquiring one of the Zambian mines or securing a stake in them. First Quantum Minerals currently holds full ownership of the Sentinel copper mine and an 80% interest in the Kansanshi mine, both located in Zambia. 

Their presence in Zambia extends to the Fishtie copper project near the Democratic Republic of Congo’s border, aiming to commence production by 2026 after years of exploration.

Amidst these developments, rumors also suggest potential acquisition bids from Canadian miner Barrick Gold (TSX: ABX), (NYSE: GOLD), as Barrick Gold aims to expand its presence in copper, targeting a production increase to 1 billion pounds by 2031. Barrick Gold has already committed substantial funds for the Lumwana super pit expansion in Zambia and holds a stake in the Reko Diq mine in Pakistan.

First Quantum Minerals is grappling with financial challenges, and intends to update its plans for meeting debt obligations by the end of January. The mining industry is closely watching for the company’s strategic moves and future financial undertakings amid the evolving landscape.

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