The company, which has mines in Zambia, Australia and Panama, will spend $1.6 billion in capital expenditure in 2023 and $1.8 billion in 2024.
Canada-based First Quantum has increased its capital expenditure (capex) guidance for 2023 and 2024.
This reflects an increase in the cost of inflation in ancillary capital and the timing of expenditures for project capital.
According to MiningWeekly, the decision involved the rescheduling of the S3 expansion and the higher cost of relocating the crushers at the mine sites.
That was followed by highlights that indicated the company, which operates mines in Zambia, Australia and Panama, would spend US$1.6 billion in capital expenditure in 2023.
While it will allocate US$1.8 billion in 2024 and US$1.5 billion in 2025.
First Quantum also revealed that it had made some spending through 2022 and accelerated spending related to the Kansanshi S3 expansion project in Zambia.
However, total capital expenditure for the S3 expansion project remains unchanged at $1.25 billion, with $40 million spent to date.
Over the three-year guidance period, capex for the S3 expansion project is expected to be $900 million, most of which will be spent over the next two years.
The mining company approved the S3 expansion in May 2022, extending the life of the Kansansha mine by another 20 years.
Once the expansion is complete, Kansanshi’s copper production is expected to average approximately 250,000 t/y for the remaining life of the mine through 2044.
Over the next three years, First Quantum has budgeted an additional $300 million in capital expenditures in Kansas to expand the tailings facility and smelter.
as well as US$650 million for the development of the Colina pit, work on the West Dam, and the purchase of an additional mining fleet in Cobre, Panama.
and US$200 million at Sentinel for the relocation of an on-pit crusher and the purchase of additional mining equipment.
Another US$35 million to complete the Enterprise Nickel project.
ESG-related projects within three years, capex guidance for $2.6 billion project includes Kansanshi smelter upgrade.
This is to increase processing capacity, which will reduce downstream greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation and refining of copper concentrate produced by Kansanshi and Sentinel.
In addition, the company is also reported to be planning a wind farm in Ravensthorpe, Australia to reduce its reliance on electricity from diesel backup generators.
He also emphasized that the Enterprise Nickel project in Zambia would be operational for the first time this year.
“These projects are an important part of the company’s brownfield development strategy for years to come.”
First Quantum also issued production guidance for the next three years, with copper production expected to increase from 770,000 tonnes to 840,000 tonnes in 2023.
as well as production of 765,000 tons to 835,000 tons in 2024; and 775,000 to 865,000 tons in 2025.
Gold production will be 265,000 to 295,000 ounces in 2023, increasing to 290,000 to 320,000 ounces in 2024; and in 2025 between 305,000 and 345,000 oz.
Nickel production will increase to 28 tons in 2023; between 34 and 49 tonnes in 2024; and 45 and 60 t in 2025.
First Quantum’s production guidance is based on Cobre’s normal operations in Panama, where the company is in dispute with the government over taxes and royalties.
In 2022, First Quantum targets production of 776,000 tonnes, a 5% decrease from 2021.
Copper Panama delivered a record production of 350,000 tons; While Sentinel experienced year-on-year growth of 242,000 tonnes.
Kanshi’s production of 146,000 tonnes was lower than in 2021 due to the lower grade.
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