By Nation Reporter
First Quantum Minerals Ltd has announced comparative earnings of $63 million and cash flows from continuing operating activities of $254 million for the three months ended March 31, 2016.
And commenting on the results, chairman and chief executive officer Mr Philip Pascall said the momentum generated in 2015 with the excellent performance of Zambia’s Kansanshi copper smelter and successful cost savings and expenditure programmes, continued into 2016.
“It was a strong start to the year for every aspect of the company. For four successive quarters, our mines have delivered progressively higher copper output and lower unit cost of production,” said Mr Pascall
On the highlights reported, FQM achieved the highest quarterly copper production and sales for its continuing operations of 119,287 tonnes and 131,267 tonnes, respectively.
The was also progressively higher production at Sentinel each quarter since start-up in first quater 2015 combined with continued strong operations at all the mines.
It also reported an increased throughput at the Kansanshi smelter by 7percent over Q4 2015 and achieved an average copper recovery of 98percent.
The report also noted that changes to the Zambian mining tax regime, including the reduction of the royalty rate for open pit mines from 9percent to a sliding scale of between 4percent to 6percent, based on the copper LME price and the repeal of the variable profits tax, have been presented to the country’s Parliament with the intention of having them passed in the current sitting.
“On the corporate development front, the agreed sale of Kevitsa is a major step towards our objective of further strengthening the balance sheet. Other strategic initiatives are now well advanced and we expect them to be finalized within the next twelve months.
“Company-wide, we remain vigilant on cost savings and cash outlays and to opportunities to maximize profitability and cash flow. The delisting of our common shares from the London Stock Exchange is a natural consequence,” said Mr Pascall
After 15 years of being on the exchange, the trading volume has remained very low and as such, the significant associated cost and administration required to maintain the listing cannot be justified.
Existing and potential shareholders were not expected to be affected by this change as the overwhelming majority of transactions in the shares was being conducted on the Toronto Stock Exchange and alternative trading systems in Canada and the United States,” he said.