Message Mar 25 Nov 2014 11:08

FQM ‘trapped’ with 200,000 m

*Daily Mail*

FIRST Quantum Minerals (FQM) Limited is stuck with about 200,000 metric tonnes of copper concentrate at its Kansanshi mine in Solwezi.
FQM, which estimates the stockpile to contain copper worth US$370 million at current market price, has attributed the stockpile to inadequate smelting capacity within Zambia.
John Gladston, who is responsible for government affairs at FQM, said in a press response last week, “Clearly, there is also tax revenue locked up in that stockpile.”
Mr Gladstone said FQM plans to start processing the concentrates through its own smelter which it is constructing at Kansanshi mine.
He expects the commissioning to start at the end of 2014 and continue into next year.
The smelter will have a capacity of 1.2 million tonnes of copper concentrates per annum.
Meanwhile, FQM has not set a date for the commissioning of the Kalumbila Minerals Limited (KML), expected to be the biggest open-pit mine in Africa.
“No date has been set for the commissioning of the mine. However, we will communicate the date to all stakeholders when announced by KML management,” Mr Gladstone said.
Commenting on the mining regime change, FQM says the greatest uncertainty for open-pit mining in Zambia remains the possible introduction of a 20 percent mineral royalty tax proposed in the 2015 budget.
“This proposal will make open-pit mining significantly less economic for operators and will make Zambia a less attractive jurisdiction future investment,” Mr Gladstone said.