First Quantum to appoint new CEO

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First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM-TSX) is set to appoint Tristan Pascall as the company’s next CEO.

Pascall, who is currently First Quantum’s chief operating officer, will assume his new responsibilities in May 2022, when he succeeds the company’s current Chairman, CEO and founder Philip Pascall. When he retires as CEO, Philip Pascall will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board, and Tristan Pascall will be nominated for election as a director at the next annual general meeting.

Philip Pascall co-founded First Quantum in 1996 and has served as CEO had Chairman ever since. He retires as one of the longest serving CEOs among the world’s major mining companies.

On November 12, First Quantum shares closed at $28.42. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $35.07 and $15.21.

First Quantum is a diversified mining company that is engaged in the production of copper, nickel, gold and zinc. It has operating mines in Zambia, Finland, Turkey, Spain and Mauritania. The company’s portfolio of assets includes the Kansanshi mine in Zambia, which ranks as the largest copper mine in Africa.

The company’s chief asset is its Cobre Panama copper-gold mine in Panama, the world’s largest new copper mine.

First Quantum recently increased its stake in the open pit project to 90%. Having reached the commercial production stage in early September, 2019, Cobre Panama is expected to produce more than 300,000 tonnes of copper annually, along with gold, silver and molybdenum.

In November, 2020, First Quantum released a maiden mineral reserve estimate for its Taca Taca copper-gold-molybdenum project, which is located in the Puna region of Salta Province in northwest Argentina.

It said the reserve estimate is derived from an open pit mine design which contemplates processing throughput of up to 60 million tonnes annually through a conventional flotation circuit with a mine life of approximately 32 years.

The company said the recovered copper reaches a peak level of approximately 275,000 tonnes within the first 10 years of operations. Total capital expenditures are estimated at US$3.3 billion.

Taca Taca is a high-potential copper-gold-molybdenum porphyry deposit that is currently in an advanced exploration phase. First Quantum acquired 100% of Taca Taca from Lumina Copper Corp. in 2014, through its subsidiary, Corriente Argentina S.A.

On Monday, the company released an updated measured and indicated resource estimate of 2.2 million tonnes grading 0.43% copper, 0.09 g/t gold and 0.012% molybdenum. The proven and probable reserve is now estimated at 1.76 million tonnes of ore grading 0.44% copper, 0.09 g/t gold and 0.012% molybdenum.

A decision to proceed with the construction of Taca Taca is not expected until sometime in 2023 or 2024, the company said in a press release, Monday.

First Quantum says it remains focused on developing its balance sheet over this period. It also said work will continue to advance the project and to further optimize the plan while obtaining the required approvals and permits and suitable assurances with respect to the Argentinian fiscal regime in advance of a formal construction decision.


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