New revised joint commitment to fast track development of the Fishtie copper project in Mkushi has been signed between First Quantum Minerals (FQM) and Mimosa Resources.
The deal inked under the latest Kashime Development Agreement is envisaged to commence as early as 2026, ramping up to a maximum production of 30 000 tonnes of copper a year by the end of this decade.
The development comes on the backdrop of raising a total investment of US$200 million led by local company Mimosa Resources.
FQM and Mimosa first announced an agreement to develop the Fishtie copper project in Central Province in 2012. Since then, substantial technical work has been undertaken demonstrating the deposit is economically viable, with some large initial infrastructure now in place.
The Agreement signed provides Mimosa with access to FQM’s vast array of skills and expertise to take the Fishtie project to the next stage of development. The establishment of technical and exploration working groups of teams from both FQM and Mimosa will ensure the transfer of skills and technical knowledge throughout the lifetime of the Agreement. This will support Mimosa, as a Zambian ‘home-grown entity’, to successfully develop and run a world-class, modern mining operation.
Mimosa currently owns 37.5 percent of Kashime Copper Ltd, which holds the Fishtie Project. The Development Agreement will see Mimosa’s stake grow into a majority 75 percent share through its completion of a feasibility study and the raising of the necessary financing to take the project to technical completion. Each of these stages is time-bound to ensure the project is developed within a reasonable timeframe.
An additional element of this Agreement is the commitment from FQM to finance and conduct exploration within the wider licence area, outside of the Fishtie Project area. This renewed appetite for exploration is largely due to the more favourable investment climate in Zambia, where the focus is now upon achieving a large increase in long-term copper production, requiring new mines to be discovered and brought into production.
“We are determined that this resource should be developed now that the investment climate in Zambia has improved. We have committed a deep level of organisational support to Mimosa, so that they are able to successfully develop and run Fishtie, and in so doing provide inspiration to other emerging Zambian miners.
“Mimosa has some very clear commercial objectives that they must meet, and within a timeframe that keeps this project on track. We look forward to working closely together in the months and years to come,” said Dr Godwin Beene, Country Manager of First Quantum Minerals.
“This revised Development Agreement represents a potentially significant transfer of skills and know-how from a major mining multi-national to an emerging Zambian company. In the search for a genuine ‘social licence to operate’, we believe that Zambians need to play a leading role in the country’s future mining development,” said Jordan Soko, Executive Chairman of Mimosa Resources.
“As such, we believe this will not only be a step forward for the Fishtie project, but also for mining in Zambia more generally. We look forward to working together with our partners at FQM, developing Kashime as a model mining operation, and delivering on the aspirations of the various stakeholders with whom we have maintained close relationships over the past years as we have progressed the project.”