August 10, 2010 / 9:48 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-First Quantum operating profit, revenue climb

* Revenue up nearly 30 percent to $528.7 mln (In U.S. dollars unless noted)

TORONTO, Aug 10 (Reuters) - First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) said on Tuesday its second-quarter operating profit rose 14 percent, driven by increased gold production and a higher realized copper price.

The Canadian miner said its operating earnings rose to $115.4 million, or $1.44 a share, in the quarter ended June 30. That compared with a year-before profit of $101.5 million, or $1.31 a share.

However, including a large impairment charge related to its Kolwezi project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and other one-time items, the company posted a net loss of $588.2 million, or $7.33 a share, in the latest quarter.

Earlier this month, the DRC initiated proceedings to liquidate First Quantum’s Kingamyambo Musonoi Tailings (KMT) project at Kolwezi, on the basis of contract irregularities and production delays at the site.

The row between First Quantum and the DRC has steadily escalated since the central African country shut down the $750 million project in September 2009. Earlier this year, a court in the DRC annulled the miner’s rights to two other copper mines. [ID:nLDE64L0CZ] [ID:nN04345576] [ID:nLDE6751TK]

Despite the setbacks in the DRC, the company said its quarterly revenue rose nearly 30 percent to $528.7 million, as increased gold output and higher realized metal prices, offset the impact of reduced copper production.

In July, First Quantum said its second-quarter copper production fell as it limited investment in its Frontier mine in the DRC due to legal issues.

The company said copper production fell 7.7 percent to 85,400 tonnes, while gold output rose 27 percent to 51,400 ounces on increased production at its mines in Zambia and Mauritania. (Reporting by Julie Gordon and Euan Rocha; editing by Rob Wilson)

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