March 6, 2008
December 13, 2007
TORONTO, Dec 12 (Reuters) – First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Wednesday that shipments from two of its mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo, destined for Zambia, had been halted, but added that at least one mine will soon be able to resume shipments.
The Canadian-based copper miner said it had been informed on Nov. 28 that the governor of Katanga province in DRC, had ordered the border closed to the shipment of copper ores and exploration core samples from First Quantum’s Lonshi mine.
First Quantum was also advised to not ship copper concentrate from its Frontier mine, it said.
This led to the Frontier concentrate storage shed filling up to capacity, which forced First Quantum to suspend milling operations on Dec. 11.
First Quantum said issues regarding concentrate shipping from Frontier have since been resolved and concentrate shipments should begin shortly. Milling operations should resume a few days later after the concentrate stockpile is reduced.
The restart of Lonshi ore shipments is awaiting final authorization from DRC authorities, the company said.
“Mining operations at both sites have continued unaffected,” First Quantum said.
The company said issues surrounding the border closure order had included improving measurement procedures for concentrate movement on the DRC side of the border and “communicating the export procedures already agreed to with the relevant DRC government authorities to the governor’s office,” the company said.
A First Quantum spokesman did not immediately return calls. The company said in the release it would publish more information when available.
First Quantum shares were down C$1.16 at C$91.54 on the Toronto Stock Exchange shortly after the news was released.
($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Cameron French; Editing by Rob Wilson)
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November 22, 2007
LUSAKA (AFP) — The UN Thursday resumed the repatriation of 12,000 Congolese refugees from Zambia which was suspended three months ago due to insecurity in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) Katanga province.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said 400 refugees from Zambia’s northern province would be shipped to Moba, a small town in Katanga in neighbouring DR Congo every day.
“Today’s resumption is a result of the progressive amelioration of the political and security situation in Moba, and the willingness expressed by the Congolese refugees to (return to their) country of origin,” UNHCR said in a statement released in Lusaka.
The process was suspended after violent riots in Moba.
According to the agency, the repatriation would probably be suspended again at the end of next month as heavy rains were expected to make roads in northern Zambia impassable.
Initially, 20,000 refugees were due to be repatriated this year but the figure was brought down to 12,000 following various constraints, UNHCR said.
Over 5,500 have left Zambia for the DRC this year, the statement said.
Zambia shelters around 114,000 refugees from various countries with Congolese constituting the majority with an estimated number of over 57,000 settled in various camps.