First Quantum sells Equinox stake for C$653 million

First Quantum Minerals Ltd has sold its 16% shareholding in Equinox Minerals Ltd for C$653 million (US$653 million).

The company will use the net proceeds towards its growth projects. These include the Ravensthorpe nickel project in Australia, Kevitsa (nickel, copper, platinum group metals) in Finland and the Sentinel copper deposit in Zambia.

The 114.13 million shares were sold at an average price of about C$5.72/share, compared with a closing price of C$6.38/share the day before the sale, but after the announcement to dispose of the ‘non-core' investment.

RBC Capital Markets and BMO Capital Markets were hired to conduct the sale.

Equinox operates the Lumwana mine in Zambia and recently made a A$1.25 billion cash and share bid for Citadel Resource Group Ltd, owner of the Jabal Sayid copper-gold project in western Saudi Arabia.

This week, First Quantum released results for the quarter to end-September, which showed a net loss US$136.7 million after the firm took a US$243.8 million impairment on its Frontier mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The mining licence was withdrawn by the government and the company began arbitration.

The company generated net sales of US$602.6 million, 10% more than a year earlier, despite selling only 79,408t of copper, a quarter less than a year earlier.

First Quantum also recently made a C$460 million cash and share offer for Antares Minerals Inc, owner of the Haquira copper project in Peru.

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