Canada’s First Quantum to suspend mining operations at Australian nickel mine


Canadian miner First Quantum Minerals FM-T said on Monday it will reduce its operating activities at its nickel mine in Australia with suspension of mining operations at the Shoemaker Levy ore body.

The decision comes as a result of a “significant” downturn in nickel prices seen in 2023, the company added.

The decision to shutter these mines will lead to a 30 per cent cut in the company’s workforce.

The Raventhorpe mine in Australia is jointly owned by First Quantum and South Korea’s POSCO. For the nine months ending September 2023, the mine generated revenues of $279-million, with a operating loss of $66-million.

First Quantum suffered a major blow in Panama, where it was ordered to shut one of the world’s biggest copper mines last December. The company has been in talks with investors to raise funds to improve its finances.

Rating agency Fitch has warned that if the company’s Panama mine were permanently shut, First Quantum’s net debt leverage ratio in 2024 would increase to more than 5 times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, which could result in a covenant breach.



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