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First Quantum Minerals Provides Update on Status of Cobre Panamá

January 10, 2023

TORONTO, Jan. 10, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (“First Quantum” or “the Company”) (TSX: FM) today issued the following update regarding the status of the Cobre Panamá mine operated by its subsidiary Minera Panamá, S.A. (“MPSA”).

Engagement between First Quantum, MPSA and the Government of Panamá (“the Government”) continues regarding the long-term future of the Cobre Panamá mine. The Company remains ready to reach an agreement that is fair and equitable to both parties.

First Quantum and MPSA are prepared to agree with, and in part exceed, the objectives that the Government outlined in January 2022 related to revenues, environmental protections and labour standards. This includes a minimum of US$375 million per year in Government income, comprised of corporate taxes and a profit-based mineral royalty of 12 to 16 percent, with downside protections aligned with the Government’s position. This minimum payment structure is a benefit to the Government that First Quantum believes is both unique and unprecedented in the mining industry. Under the newly proposed profit-based royalty, the government would receive revenue that is multiple times higher than under both the existing contract and the current Panamá Mining Code. The proposed royalty rates would be amongst the highest, if not the highest, paid by copper miners in the Americas.

“We are ready to reach a mutually beneficial agreement that provides the legal certainty that we need to help promote the sustainable development of Panamá, safeguard our thriving Panamanian workforce and protect our investment,” said Tristan Pascall, Chief Executive Officer. “First Quantum and its predecessor have invested at least US$10 billion to build one of the world’s largest, safest and most advanced copper mines. This investment was enabled by the assurance and expectation that Panamá supported the project through a long-standing, comprehensive agreement from 1997 that covered taxation, including mining royalties, and other arrangements. Since we became involved, we have met all of our obligations and Cobre Panamá is now a business that provides benefits to all Panamanians. We are doing everything possible to support our employees and their families, local communities, the country of Panamá and the Company’s investors and stakeholders.”

As previously announced, MPSA is working through a number of steps to address the resolution from the National Directorate of Mineral Resources of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries requiring MPSA to suspend commercial operations at Cobre Panamá. MPSA will deliver a plan to put the mine under “care and maintenance” to the Government for review and response. At this time, the timing and impact of any care and maintenance regime enacted by the Ministry remain uncertain. In the interim, operations at Cobre Panamá continue as normal, with no disruption to production as yet.

The Company will host a conference call and webcast to discuss developments in Panamá regarding the status of the Cobre Panamá mine on Tuesday, January 10, 2023, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).

Conference call and webcast details:
Toll-free North America: 1-800-319-4610
Toll-free International: 1-604-638-5340
Webcast: www.first-quantum.com

A replay of the webcast and transcript of the conference call will be available on the First Quantum website.

For further information, visit our website at www.first-quantum.com or contact:

Bonita To, Director, Investor Relations
(416) 361-6400 Toll-free: 1 (888) 688-6577
E-Mail: info@fqml.com


Certain statements and information herein, including all statements that are not historical facts, contain forward-looking statements and forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. The forward-looking statements in this news release include statements as to economic effects of the proposal put forward by MPSA, the long-term future of the Cobre Panamá mine and the Company’s openness to further dialogue with the Government of Panamá and goal of finding a mutually acceptable resolution. With respect to forward-looking statements and information contained herein, the Company has made numerous assumptions, including as to the effects of the proposal put forward by MPSA. Forward-looking statements and information by their nature are based on assumptions and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or information. These factors include, but are not limited to, political stability in Panamá, potential social and environmental challenges, and events generally impacting global economic, political and social stability. There may also be other factors that cause actual results, performance, achievements or events not as anticipated, estimated or intended, including the risks, uncertainties and other factors discussed in the Company’s Annual Information Form. The Company undertakes no obligation to reissue or update forward-looking statements or information as a result of new information or events after the date hereof except as may be required by law.

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Source: First Quantum Minerals Ltd.

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