FQM REPORTS QUARTERLY LOSS, DESPITE HITTING PRODUCTION RECORD
FQM’s subsidiary Sentinel mine in Kalumbila district of North-Western Province recorded its highest performance to date, despite the onset of the wet season, while the group’s Kansanshi mine and smelter in Solwezi both turned in solid results thanks to maintaining low unit costs of copper production.
Despite the production increase, the company recorded a net loss from continuing operations for the quarter of US$115 million, due in part to a US$188 million loss realised under the copper sales hedge programme for which no tax credit was available. “Last year was another successful one for First Quantum. Our achievements were realised through the continued dedication and efforts of our entire workforce and partners,” noted FQM chairman and chief executive officer Philip Pascall.
Ramping up production: FQM’s Sentinel mine at Kalumbila
He said that the company made significant progress on its copper growth objective and that Sentinel’s ramp-up over the year accounted for a good part of that progress, as did the continued strong performances at the Kansanshi complex and Las Cruces in Spain. “While our smaller operations are managing the challenges of being in the latter part of their lives, they do make good contributions both in production and providing unique training and experience for our valuable workforce. Last year marked the sixth consecutive time that we have increased our copper production. This is an achievement we are proud of especially in light of the tough conditions faced by the industry over the past few years,” Mr Pascall added.
“This year is an important one for us with the start of the critical phased commissioning of our largest project to date – Cobre Panama. We believe the project will enter operations at a time when the fundamentals for copper will be at their strongest. This has informed our decision to bring forward an expansion of and increase our ownership interest,” he said. “Through this period of significant growth for our company, we are also committed to deleveraging the balance sheet and providing some return to our shareholders who have been supportive of our vision and strategy,” Mr Pascall continued.
The mining firm, which is Zambia’s largest taxpayer, has to date paid taxes amounting to more than US$3.5 billion; dividends paid to ZCCM-IH in excess of US$200 million, and an investment in corporate social responsibility of US$100 million, meaning a total investment in Zambia in excess of US$5 billion, delivering tangible social improvement to thousands of Zambians.