Who is First Quantum Minerals Ltd?

First Quantum Minerals based in Vancouver, Canada, has mining projects on several continents. While First Quantum has dipped its toe in Alaska waters, through a brief partnership with Millrock Resources for an exploration project on the Alaska Peninsula, the Pebble mine would be its first North American project.

The company has six operational mines, one that is on pause due to low nickel prices, and four more under development. Four of its operational mines are nearing the end of their life spans (within the next 2-8 years).

First Quantum is developing Trident (copper/nickel) in Zambia, Cobre Panama (copper) in Panama, Taca Taca (copper/gold/molybdenum) in Argentina and Haquira (copper) in Peru. Bringing the Cobre Panama project online is one of First Quantum’s main objectives, and it will continue those efforts concurrently with its involvement in the Pebble mine development.


First Quantum employs more than 13,000 people worldwide. Its “make-it-happen” work culture is designed to allow people to grow and “act in a bolder, smarter and more driven way.”

Environmental Policy & Sustainability

According to First Quantum’s Environmental Policy, it subscribes to the “Equator Principles,” a risk-management framework that helps manage environmental and social risk in projects. Along with assessing environmental and social risks and impacts of a project, the Equator Principles call for effective Stakeholder Engagement.

In a 2016 Sustainability Report, First Quantum CEO Philip Pascall says that in every initiative “we assess our strategic objectives relative to the varied expectations of our stakeholders. In many instances that means reconciling divergent interests and even identifying where tradeoffs may need to be made.”


Going Strong


Type: Copper-gold, conventional mining, 2 open pits

Location: Zambia

Life span: 17 years

Employees: 1,700

Of Note: Largest copper mine in Africa. Has been expanded several times since opening in 2005. FQM holds 80% interest.

Sentinel copper mine

Type: Copper, conventional open-pit mining

Location: Northwestern Zambia

Life span: 2033

Employees: 2,231

Of Note: Came into commercial production in November 2016.

Short life span


Type: Copper-zinc, underground bulk mining methods

Location: Northeastern Turkey

Life span: 2019

Employees: 493 employees

Of Note: Largest underground base metals mine in Turkey.

Pyhäsalmi copper-zinc mine

Type: Copper-zinc, underground using open-stope mining methods

Location: Central Finland

Life span: 2022

Employees: 210

Of Note: Developed as open pit in 1962

Las Cruces

Type: Copper, conventional mining, open pit

Location: Southern Spain

Life span: 2022

Employees: 250

Of Note: On-site processing plant produces copper cathodes

Guelb Moghrein copper-gold mine

Type: Copper-gold

Location: Mauritania

Life span: 2025

Employees: 1,470

Of Note: Ongoing exploration of more than 5,500 sq. km.


On pause


Type: Nickel

Location: Western Australia

Life span: 32 years

Employees: 405

Of Note: Currently on “care and maintenance” due to low nickel prices.

Read more

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