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2020-10-28

First Quantum Minerals Reports Third Quarter 2020 Results

(In United States dollars, except where noted otherwise)

TORONTO, Oct. 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Quantum Minerals Ltd. ("First Quantum" or the "Company") (TSX:FM) today reported results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020. The Company reported, for the three months ended September 30, 2020 (“Q3”), comparative earnings1 of $64 million ($0.09 per share1), net earnings attributable to shareholders of the Company1 of $29 million ($0.04 per share1) and cash flows from operating activities of $452 million ($0.66 per share1).

“The third quarter was strong from an operational and financial perspective.  Cobre Panama restarted normal operations and was back into full production well ahead of schedule.  Almost all of our operations delivered lower costs and a number of new production and cost records were achieved.   As promised, we have maintained our focus on balance sheet de-leveraging and I am pleased to report that our net debt position is now beginning to decline. We have continued our program of active balance sheet management with the completion of a senior note offering of $1.5 billion which has been used to extend our senior debt maturities and reduce our debt service costs,” commented Philip Pascall, Chairman and CEO. “We continue to prioritize the health and safety of our workforce as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic that is now the ‘new normal’.  Despite all the challenges, our workforce and operations continue to be extremely resilient.  This has resulted in a strong operational performance, allowing us to increase our production expectations for the year at slightly improved costs. I am proud of how we continue to navigate this very challenging year while preparing the Company for continued future success.”

THIRD QUARTER SUMMARY:

  • Operational Highlights:
    • 211,396 tonnes of total copper production2 in the quarter, 10% higher than the same period in 2019, due to record production at both Sentinel and Cobre Panama.
    • Q3 cost of copper production3: all-in sustaining cost (“AISC”) of $1.48 per lb and cash cost of copper production (“C1”) of $1.07 per lb for the third quarter of 2020, a $0.38 per lb and $0.29 per lb decrease, respectively, compared to the same period in 2019.
    • Almost all of our copper operations delivered a reduction in cash costs and total cash costs were at their lowest level in four years. Sentinel achieved a record low AISC of $1.77 per lb and C1 cash cost of $1.25 per lb, respectively. There was also a notable reduction in C1 cash cost at Guelb Moghrein, to $0.24 per lb, the lowest C1 cash cost for over a decade, and the lowest reported AISC.
    • 72,926 ounces of total gold production for the quarter, 4% higher than the same period in 2019 reflecting increased gold production at Cobre Panama.
    • Sentinel performed exceptionally in the quarter, achieving its highest ever quarterly production of 70,829 tonnes and record low cash costs. Increased throughput and higher grades resulted in the 25% increase in copper production from the same period in 2019, while lower maintenance costs, lower fuel prices and currency depreciation drove improved unit costs.
    • Performance at Cobre Panama was strong as it ramped up from preservation and safe maintenance in July to full production levels in August, slightly ahead of expectation. Copper production in the quarter was 62,055 tonnes, significantly higher than the same period in 2019.
    • Las Cruces operated at normal throughput levels compared to the third quarter of 2019, which was impacted by a land slippage in January 2019. Robust performance at Guelb Moghrein resulted in 8% higher production compared to the same period in 2019. Q3 total copper production at other operations: Las Cruces, Guelb Moghrein, Cayeli and Pyhasalmi was 24,082 tonnes.
    • Kansanshi performed consistently during the quarter. Copper production of 54,430 tonnes was slightly lower than Q3 2019 as a result of reduced grades and recoveries despite increased throughput. Cash costs were lower driven by currency depreciation and lower fuel costs.
    • The Kansanshi smelter processed 362,554 dry metric tonnes (“DMT”) of copper concentrate, produced 89,090 tonnes of copper anode with recoveries of 98%, together with 342,000 tonnes of sulphuric acid.
    • Production guidance for 2020 has been updated. Total copper production expected for 2020 has been increased to between 750,000 – 785,000 tonnes, gold production expected is now to be between 245,000 – 260,000 ounces and nickel production expectation has been reduced to 13,000 - 15,000 tonnes.
 

Three months endedNine months ended
 September 30September 30
(U.S. dollars where applicable)2020 2019 2020 2019 
COPPER
        
         
- Production2,7 (tonnes)211,396 192,510 575,740 497,878 
 - Sales4,7 (tonnes)197,533 203,827 547,430

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