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Thursday, September 24, 2020

First Quantum re-routing Zambia copper exports after SA imposes border restrictions

Economy First Quantum re-routing Zambia copper exports after SA imposes border restrictions

First Quantum Minerals was exporting copper from its Zambian mines through alternate routes after restrictions were imposed by South Africa.

Commenting in an update regarding its handling of operations in response to the COVID-19 threat, the Toronto-listed firm also said copper production from Zambia had been “better than expected” for the year to date.

“Year-to-date operations in Zambia have been slightly better than expected with good grades and recoveries within the mixed and sulphide ores at Kansanshi and improved mining volumes and ore grades at Sentinel,” the company said in an update.

“Following the announcement of heightened restrictions in South Africa, including controls on ports and transit routes, the company is managing the export of its Zambian production through alternate routes,” it added.

South Africa started a 21-day lockdown at midnight on March 26, and the country’s government declared a national state of disaster on March 15 in response to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.

It subsequently closed some ports and points of entry.

South Africa has 72 ports of entry in the country which are land, sea and air ports.

Of the 53 land ports, 35 were shut down.

Two of the eight seaports were closed for passengers and crew changes.

In view of preparations for “… an extended period of health protocols and travel restrictions, and commodity prices that could remain depressed into 2021”, the company had imposed cost cuts that would extend to senior executive salaries.

“As part of its immediate cost reduction efforts the company has implemented a temporary salary reduction of 20% for certain senior staff including the CEO,” it said.

Said Philip Pascall, CEO of the company: “These times are unprecedented, they require adaptability and flexibility which are part of the culture we’ve built at First Quantum”.

First Quantum said it was well capitalised. It had $523m in net unrestricted cash as of December 31 a revolving credit facility of about $700m which was undrawn giving it some $1.2bn in pro-forma cash and available credit.

It had also hedged the copper price by selling forward 343,025 tonnes of copper sales to January 2021 using both unmargined copper forward sales and unmargined zero cost collar sales contracts.

It had also sold forward some of its nickel production.

“The commitment to deleveraging the balance sheet remains and a plan is in place to deleverage and manage debt in the current commodity price environment,” it said.


  1. Whatever happened to that billion dollar legal case ZCCM had with FQM, immediately the CEO was fired by Lungu the case disappeared ….Zambians have lost out again due to corrupt Politicians.

  2. “Canada-based First Quantum has announced an extension of its copper sales hedge programme to ensure a “certain level of cash flow” during the commissioning and ramp-up of its large openpit copper mine development in Panama.” – Mining News 2018

  3. For the past 10 years I have been undertaking an in-depth study into why my country Zambia and my continent Africa has a failed leadership. I have come to a conclusion that the problem is not because we have an inherent problem as Africans. Instead I notice that having lived in UK, all my best bosses and leaders have been gay European men. We gay people tend to be very organised and full of integrity. I think for a few years Africans need to be ruled by gay European men. I recommend my current manager lewis Cooke of Hackney care home Ltd.

  4. This is N3z the coon when he is bored he clones blogger’s accounts and kz ..what a sad boyo…I told you if you want this alias you can have it as you lack creativity I can see you are now bored playing Kz.


  6. Where is SADC?
    Cross-border movement of goods and services should not be restricted! We can’t afford to stop wheels of Commerce like this. Restrict passenger movements but allow the Wheels and Wings of Commerce to continue functioning!
    Our Definition of Lockdown is terrible! It doesn’t mean switching off completely!
    Whoever is the chairperson of SADC is not helping matters!

  7. Mwine mushi you are very right Cross-border movement of goods and services should not be restricted! This is one way bringing down our economy. they could put the measurements restrictions only to people who do small business and holidays

  8. Mwine Mushi – the question you should be asking is where is our Gov’t? They should been crying to Comesa and presurising the RSA Govt…can you imagine what would happen if France closed off its ports there would hunger in England.

  9. You xam leak reporters with your half-baked stories. What are the alternative routes? You must tell us. You just can’t leave it at that. Either you should have asked quantum officials or done your own research

  10. Iwe Tarino don’t you know your geography? Britain is not surrounded by France. It is an island meaning it has all round access to the sea. Even its rail access to France is under the sea so your example does not hold

  11. Iwe Sheikh Phiri, you may know about geography but are ignorant of geopolitics…about 20% of the UK’s entire trade in goods goes through Dover-Calais…That’s about 2.5m lorries/year…
    Closure and delays of that border have serious consequences for the UK economy and supply chain!

  12. The story does not talk about re-routing copper exports imwe ba LT. To where anyway? By rocket to china? Or by satellite?

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