First Quantum rises after booking $1.2bn compensation for Congo confiscation

First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM) gained more than 2% on Wednesday after the company reported full year results that included a $1.2 billion one-time payment related to the nationalization of its Frontier copper mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The compensation payment from London-listed miner ENRC  which picked up Frontier on the cheap in 2011 after the government of the central African nation confiscated the prize copper mine – probably worth much more than $1.2 billion now – boosted First Quantum's pre-tax profits to $2.2 billion from $1.1 billion in 2011.

Strip out the once-off item however and gross mining profits show a 15% decline on the back of higher costs and a 9% decline in realized copper prices.

Production rose strongly however with copper output up 16% thanks in part to a new annual production record at the flagship Kansanshi mine in Zambia  – the largest copper mine in Africa.

Gold output at 201,942 ounces was 15% higher than 2011.

The company's full year results also included the first contributions from the gold-copper-nickel Kevitsa mine in Finland which achieved commercial production in August.

The company also brought the Ravensthorpe nickel mine in Australia to full production.

First Quantum, worth $8.8 billion on the Toronto Stock Exchange, has a $5.1 billion hostile offer for smaller Canadian rival Inmet (TSX:IMN) on the table which it has extended to March 11.

At stake is Inmet's $6.2 billion copper-gold porphyry Cobre Panama project, one of the largest undeveloped deposits in the world containing more than 32 billion pounds of copper, 9 million ounces of gold and 168 million ounces of silver in measured and indicated resources.


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