First Quantum to fast track Zambia’s Fishtie copper project

FIRST Quantum Minerals is to fast track the development at the Fishtie copper project starting in 2026, said Reuters.

The Toronto-listed firm signed an agreement with Zambia’s Mimosa Resources which will see the mine ramping up to a maximum production of 30,000 tons of copper a year by the end of the decade.

Zambia has ambitions to triple its copper output and has reviewed its tax policy to increase mining exploration and output, said Reuters.

First Quantum, which is already a major copper producer in Zambia, reiterated it thought the investment climate in the southern African country had improved.

President Hakainde Hichilema, who came into office in August 2021, said he wanted Zambia’s mining sector to be the country’s foremost revenue generator. He subsequently set a target to increase its copper production from 800,000 tons a year to three million tons a year in the next three years.

In 2022, First Quantum Minerals announced $1.35bn worth of new projects in the country following an improvement in business climate, especially fiscal reforms.

In addition, Anglo American announced a return to full-scale copper exploration after it signed a provisional joint-venture agreement with Aim-listed mining and exploration company Arc Minerals. KoBold Metals, a Californian-based metals explorer, is busy raising $200m to develop the copper reserves it recently acquired in Zambia.

Mimosa Resources is expected to lead the raising of a total investment of $200m for the project, said Reuters.