TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Jan. 26, 2016) – First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (“First Quantum” or the “Company”) (TSX:FM)(LSE:FQM) today provided an update regarding the power supply situation in Zambia and in particular, the supply to its Zambian operations.
The Company also confirms that the processes, previously announced, to reduce its net debt position by over $1 billion by the end of Q1 2016, through a combination of asset sales and other strategic initiatives, are proceeding as planned with the continued support of its secured lenders.
POWER SUPPLY IN ZAMBIA
Zambia is in the midst of its annual rainy season which generally starts in November and runs through April. With the onset of the rains, the catchment area that feeds the Kariba dam, from which the majority of the country’s electricity is generated, is being recharged. The river flow at all four upstream measuring stations above Kariba dam are all showing significant increases in flow rates over the past month. Water from the catchment area typically makes its way into the Kariba dam over a period of months with dam recharge occurring from January to June.
In addition to this annual replenishment, electricity availability will be augmented by approximately 420MW of new in-country capacity expected online during the current year from projects nearing completion (300MW thermal and 120MW hydro). Currently, the state-run power company is importing power from neighboring countries, and has announced additional power imports of up to 300MW from another utility in the region, and a further 200MW from an independent power producer.
First Quantum’s Zambian operations, the Kansanshi mine, smelter and the Sentinel project, are being consistently provided a total of approximately 285MW. This allows for normal operations at the Kansanshi mine and smelter complex and for Sentinel to achieve above nameplate capacity throughput for periods.
First Quantum is also evaluating a number of options to independently secure power for its operations both in the near and long term.
On Behalf of the Board of Directors of First Quantum Minerals Ltd.
G. Clive Newall, President
Listed in Standard and Poor’s
Sharon Loung, Director, Investor Relations
(647) 346-3934 or Toll Free: 1 (888) 688-6577
(604) 688-3818 (FAX)
United Kingdom contact:
Clive Newall, President
+44 140 327 3484
+44 140 327 3494 (FAX)