BUZZ-First Quantum Minerals Ltd: Plans to cut debt by $1 bln

Tue Oct 6, 2015 12:39pm EDT
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** Canadian copper miner's stock up 19.4 pct at C$7.39, second most heavily traded on TSX

** Company to reduce net debt by C$1 billion ($767 million) by end of Q1 2016 and lowers 2015 copper production forecast

** Company had debt of $5.50 bln as of June 30

** Also lowers 2015 cash cost forecast for copper to $1.20-$1.35/pound from $1.30-$1.55

** Reaches streaming agreement with Franco-Nevada Corp on Cobre Panama mines; Franco-Nevada to pay initial contribution of $330 mln-$340 mln out of $1 bln of funding to First Quantum this month

** "The uncertainty around the streaming agreement had been an overhang on First Quantum's shares," Jefferies & Co analysts write. "We expect this announcement to be viewed positively"

** Lowers Panama project's capital costs by 7 pct, expects completion late in 2017

** Company also reports power stability in Zambia and expects production from the Sentinel mines by 2015-end

** Up to Monday's close, stock had fallen nearly 63 pct this year

($1 = 1.3044 Canadian dollars)