First Quantum Minerals - First Quantum's Sentinel copper mine in Zambia.
First Quantum's Sentinel copper mine in Zambia.
Source: First Quantum Minerals.
  • The market for First Quantum Minerals stock (TSX:FM) continues to deteriorate after two tragic deaths on company grounds in Zambia
  • The deaths coincide with ongoing protests in Panama surrounding First Quantum’s Cobre Panama mine, which resides in a highly biodiverse part of the country that is home to numerous Indigenous communities
  • First Quantum is a global copper producer in the form of concentrate, cathode and anode, with additional inventories of nickel, gold and cobalt
  • First Quantum Minerals stock (TSX:FM) has lost approximately 60 per cent year-over-year, while remaining up by a little more than 5 per cent since 2018

The market for First Quantum Minerals stock (TSX:FM) continues to deteriorate after two tragic deaths on company grounds in Zambia.

A team member from contracting partner Reliant Drilling was killed by falling ground at the underground dewatering decline at the company’s Kansanshi copper-gold operation on Thursday.

The next day, in a separate incident, a contractor from Omega Risk Solutions died in a light vehicle accident after his car rolled at First Quantum’s Sentinel copper operation. A passenger in the vehicle was injured and is in stable condition.

Local authorities are investigating the two accidents, both of which occurred in non-production areas, while First Quantum has initiated its own internal investigations, including re-evaluation of its management of contractors in Zambia.

“On behalf of First Quantum, we extend our sincere condolences to the families of our colleagues,” Tristan Pascall, CEO of First Quantum Minerals, said in a statement. “We are devastated that two separate incidents have had such tragic outcomes. We are working to ensure that all those affected in these incidents will receive the necessary support and assistance during this difficult time.”

The deaths coincide with ongoing protests in Panama concerning First Quantum’s Cobre Panama mine, which operates in a highly biodiverse area with significance to numerous Indigenous communities, while also accounting for about 75 per cent of Panama’s exported goods.

Protests began back in August after the government’s approval of Cobre Panama‘s mining license for the next two decades. Panama’s top court is currently deliberating constitutional challenges to the new mining contract, which could meaningfully hinder a key resource in global electrification.

Full 2022 production at Cobre Panama included more than 350,000 tonnes of copper, which is enough for more than 6 million electric vehicles (EVs).

First Quantum is a global copper producer in the form of concentrate, cathode and anode, with additional inventories of nickel, gold and cobalt. The company has been active in Panama for the past decade.

First Quantum Minerals stock (TSX:FM) is down by 3.53 per cent, trading at C$12.84 per share. The stock has lost approximately 60 per cent year-over-year, while remaining up by a little more than 5 per cent since 2018.

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