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First Quantum Minerals Ltd

Solwezi, Zambia
Mining enterprises
Drilling and Exploration
Mining processing and refining
Mining engineering
Founded in 1996, this company's operating platform currently consists of seven mines and one copper smelter across six countries: Kansanshi mine in Zambia, Guelb Moghrein in Mauritania, Las Cruces in Spain, Pyhäsalmi in Finland, Ravensthorpe in Australia and Çayeli in Turkey. First Quantum Minerals is uniquely positioned with a successful exploration program, an industry-leading project development track record, tier-one operating assets, an attractive project pipeline and good investment opportunities.

Mining enterprises

The Kansanshi mine, the largest copper mine in Africa, is owned and operated by Kansanshi Mining Plc which is 80% owned by a First Quantum and 20% is owned by of ZCCM. The mine is located approximately 10 kilometres north of the town of Solwezi and 180 kilometres to the northwest of the Copperbelt town of Chingola.

The mine has undergone several expansions since it began operating in 2005. From an initial production capacity of 110,000 tonnes of copper, Kansanshi is now capable of producing 340,000 tonnes of copper and more than 120,000 ounces of gold per year. A multi-stage expansion project aims to increase copper output capacity to approximately 400,000 tonnes.

Mining is carried out in two open pits, Main and Northwest using conventional open pit methods and employing hydraulic excavators and a fleet of haul trucks. Ore treatment is flexible to allow for variation in ore type either through an oxide circuit, a sulphide circuit and a transitional ore 'mixed float' circuit with facilities to beneficiate flotation concentrate to final cathode via the HPL circuit.

First Quantum Minerals is a well-established and growing metals and mining company operating six mines and developing the world-class Cobre Panama project. We currently produce mainly copper, gold, nickel and zinc.

Investment highlights

  • A significant copper producer with a meaningful nickel business
  • A platform of cash generating and geographically diversified operating assets
  • A portfolio of world-class copper deposits
  • Highly skilled management, technical and operations teams


First Quantum's primary product is copper. Copper has a wide range of applications because of its many useful properties. It is malleable, durable, strong and heat resistant. It is also one of the most efficient conductors of electricity and heat. Copper is used to manufacture copper wire, copper products and copper alloy products.

Wire and cable copper is used for or formed into general industrial cable, utility power cable, telecommunications cable, insulated wire and winding wire for electrical motors. Wire and copper cable is also used in heating and air conditioning systems, plumbing, roofing and brass fittings.

For electrical and electronic devices such as televisions, radios, lighting, computers and mobile phones, copper wiring is used for electrical leads, adapters, transformers and motors. Copper compounds and chemicals are used to protect plants and crops and to preserve wood. Copper tubing for plumbing, heating systems, air conditioners and refrigerators accounts for a significant use of copper.

Copper may also be used in alloy products which include copper sheet and strips and brass fixtures used for building fixtures and fittings.

The price of copper is primarily determined by changes in supply and demand, which are in turn affected and determined by global economic conditions. Copper consumption by Asian countries has increased demand for the metal and, in the last few years, has led to higher prices.


First Quantum also produce gold at the Kansanshi mine. In addition to its use in jewelry, gold has many other important applications. It plays an important role in modern health applications and research. It is used in medicines, lasers, thermometers and genetic research. Gold is the most ductile metal and is a good conductor of heat and electricity. It is used in computers, telecommunication, digital technology and space exploration.

Mining enterprises
First Quantum Minerals Ltd · Mining enterprises

Drilling and Exploration

Using different drilling and exploration techniques, First Quantum Minerals is able to achieve maximum profitability from each mining project by ensuring that investments made can endure for generations. The company has brought together an expansive fleet of state-of-the-art equipment to carry out its works effectively.

In order to maximise its investments and increase productivity, First Quantum Minerals carries out comprehensive geotechnical exploration and drilling programmes to determine whether mineral deposits exist or not and to assess if it would be economical to mine at a particular site.

The company maintains a highly skilled team and fleet of surveying equipment to meet its target even with geological or environmental obstacles. First Quantum Minerals strives to eliminate missed targets and the associated costs of exploration and drilling. More than 120,000 metres of resource development drilling has been completed.

Drilling and Exploration
First Quantum Minerals Ltd · Drilling and Exploration

Mining processing and refining

First Quantum mines sulphide ore and oxide ore. Sulphide ore is treated via crushing, milling and flotation to produce copper in concentrate. The sulphide milling circuit maintains the production of finished copper as oxide ore is depleted and sulphide ore grades begin to fall as the mining horizon deepens.

Oxide ore is treated via crushing, milling, flotation, leaching and the SX/EW process to produce a sulphidic and gold bearing flotation concentrate as well as electro-won cathode copper. Gold recovery by gravity in four gravity concentrators, providing two concentrators per milling train, and increasing gold recovery from all ore types. Gemini tables are installed to treat the gravity concentrates and produce a high-grade concentrate for direct smelting to gold bullion.

Mining processing and refining
First Quantum Minerals Ltd · Mining processing and refining

Mining engineering

First Quantum has the engineering discipline to apply science and technology to the extraction of minerals from the earth. They provide mining engineering that is associated with many other disciplines, such as geology, mineral processing and metallurgy, geotechnical engineering and surveying.

First Quantum is a leader in the mining industry and can takes complete responsibility for mine, infrastructure and development needs. First Quantum's diverse skills and knowledge have been successfully applied to some of the resource industry's most challenging and complex projects.

  • Delivering complex process technologies
  • Delivering supporting infrastructure solutions
  • Providing fast track solutions
  • Access to global supply chains to deliver low cost outcomes

First Quantum has the systems and technical capability to successfully bring together the experience and knowledge gained in all phases of project development to complete project implementation solution.

  • Project assurance processes to successfully deliver projects
  • Structured processes to turn an idea into reality
  • Project realization strategies developed to incorporate
  • High value engineering
  • Global procurement strategies
  • Fabrication and installation logistical strategies
Mining engineering
First Quantum Minerals Ltd · Mining engineering
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