First Quantum Minerals Reports Q3 Copper Production in Zambia

First Quantum Minerals Reports Q3 Copper Production in Zambia

Boost in Production at Two Mines

Toronto-listed First Quantum Minerals (FQM) reported a production of 103,805 tonnes of copper from its Zambian mines, Kansanshi and Sentinel, in the third quarter of 2023.

Breakdown of Production Levels

The Kansanshi mine’s output stood at 39,600 tonnes, marking an increase of 4,943 tonnes from the previous quarter. Meanwhile, the Sentinel mine registered a production of 63,805 tonnes, up by 9,760 tonnes compared to the second quarter.

Nickel Operation Shows Promise

FQM’s nickel mine, Enterprise, located in Zambia, marked a significant milestone by selling its first concentrate during this quarter. However, the full ramp-up at Enterprise is still in progress. Consequently, FQM has adjusted the mine’s annual production forecast for 2023. It now expects a nickel output between 3,000 and 5,000 tonnes, a considerable reduction from the initially predicted range of 5,000 to 10,000 tonnes.

Revised Production Targets

Kansanshi’s anticipated total copper output for the year has been revised to 130,000 – 140,000 tonnes, a slight decrease from the previous estimate of 130,000 – 150,000 tonnes. Additionally, the guidance for gold production from this mine has been reduced to 65,000 – 70,000 ounces, down from the initial 95,000 – 105,000 ounces forecast.

Sentinel, which faced disruptions earlier in the year due to heavy rainfall, has been recovering steadily. However, challenges encountered thus far in 2023 have led FQM to adjust the copper production guidance for Sentinel. It is now projected to be between 220,000 – 230,000 tonnes, down from the earlier 260,000 – 280,000 tonnes.

Global Updates and Expectations

FQM, which operates additional copper mines in Turkey, Australia, and Panama, announced revised annual production guidelines for its copper, gold, and nickel operations. The company now anticipates producing between 745,000 – 775,000 tonnes of copper, down from the previous estimate of 770,000 – 840,000 tonnes, with Q4 production levels expected to be on par with Q3.

Furthermore, the gold production forecast has been reduced to 230,000 – 250,000 ounces, primarily due to decreased production at Kansanshi. Nickel production projections have also been adjusted to 25,000 – 29,000 tonnes, reflecting the ongoing performance at the Ravensthorpe mine in Australia and Enterprise.

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