FIRST Quantum Minerals (FQM) recorded a 13 per cent increase in copper production at its Kansanshi mine in Solwezi in 2012 as compared to the figure for the previous year.
The Canadian mining giant posted a 16 per cent rise in copper output for the group for the year ended December 31 2012 as compared to the 2011 figures.
This is according to the company's 2012 production and 2013 outlook figures released in Vancouver, British Columbia on Tuesday and obtained by Times of Zambia in Lusaka.
The actual copper production at Kansanshi rose from 230,295 tonnes in 2011 to 261,351 tonnes while gold production at the same mine shot up by 21 per cent from 112,286 to 136,056 ounces in the same period.
The copper production for the group rose by 26 per cent for the fourth quarter and 16 per cent for the year ended December 31, 2012.
In terms of the aggregate, the copper production moved from 265,576 tonnes in 2011 to 307,115 tonnes last year while gold production was at 201,942 ounces from 175,225.
The company recorded a supernormal increase of 549 per cent in nickel output from 5,666 to 36, 759 contained tonnes.
FQM has investment interests in Zambia, Mauritania, Finland and Australia. For the fourth quarter ended December 31 2012, the company recorded increased total copper production of 84,918 tonnes over that of the 2011 fourth quarter mainly because of higher sulphide grades processed and higher throughput as a result of the continued expansion of the oxide circuit at Kansanshi.
The total nickel production was equally on the rise at 10,096 tonnes as the result of the steady operations at Ravensthorpe in its first full year of commercial operations and the contribution of 1,870 tonnes from Kevitsa.
For gold, the production of 64,383 ounces was 48 per cent higher than that of the fourth quarter of 2011 mainly attributable to improved grade and recovery rates at Kansanshi and contribution of 2,172 ounces from Kevitsa.