First Quantum Minerals Ltd. FM-T is considering a range of merger and acquisition options as it attempts to stem the financial damage caused by the closing of its giant Panama copper mine.
The Vancouver-based copper miner said in a release it is considering the sale of some of its smaller operations, as well as potentially selling stakes in its large mines. First Quantum has already been approached by at least one major mining company interested in pouncing as its stock flounders. First Quantum’s share price has fallen by more than two-thirds since last summer.
Barrick Gold Corp. ABX-T contacted First Quantum with an expression of interest in acquiring the company last year, Bloomberg and The Globe and Mail reported. Toronto-based Barrick has made no secret of its desire to expand its copper production.
The world’s second-biggest gold company is already planning on building a major new copper mine in Pakistan. A range of gold miners, including Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd., are broadening their exposure beyond precious metals, as the world increasingly turns to critical minerals, such as copper, for low-carbon energy sources.