First Quantum inks $2.7B refinancing deal

Shares in Canada’s First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM) were up after announcing that it has signed a new $2.7-billion term loan and revolving credit facility, replacing the existing $1.5 billion one.

Underwritten by three core relationship banks, the loan can be increased to up to $3 billion before the end of year, the Vancouver-based miner said. It comprises a $1.5-billion term-loan facility and a $1.2 billion revolving credit facility, maturing on Dec. 31, 2022.

The refinancing extends the debt maturity profile of the business, eliminating all material debt maturities through to 2022. In addition, it provides liquidity headroom under the revolving credit facilities.

The $2.7-billion term loan and revolving credit facility can be increased to up to $3 billion before the end of year.

Earlier this week, First Quantum grabbed headlines on rumours it had offered to buy the Zambian government’s 20% in Kansanshi, Africa’s No.1 copper mine, for as much as $700 million.

The company already owns 80% of the mine with state-owned ZCCM Investments holding the rest.

The operation is First Quantum’s biggest mine, and accounted for more than half the company’s revenue in 2017.

Last month, the miner scrapped plans to lay off 2,500 workers in the southern African country over an increase in mining taxes, and has committed to extend talks with the nation’s government over the issue.