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Our Business

Guelb Moghrein

The Guelb Moghrein copper-gold operation is 100% owned by Mauritanian Copper Mines (MCM), a First Quantum subsidiary. The mine is located 250 kilometres northeast of the nation’s capital, Nouakchott, near the town of Akjoujt.

The Guelb Moghrein deposit was first developed in the early 1970s by Anglo American Corporation but was closed in 1977 due to technical difficulties and high fuel prices. First Quantum acquired an 80% interest in the asset in 2004 and achieved commercial production in 2006. In 2010, the Company increased its ownership in Guelb Moghrein to 100%.

In addition to the Guelb Moghrein mining concession, the Company holds five exploration concessions in the area totalling5,581 square kilometres either directly through MCM SA or since 2011, through Mauritania Exploration SARL a wholly-owned entity.

Mining and Processing

Mining started in April 2006. Commissioning of the copper flotation plant commenced in July 2006 and commercial production began in October 2006. In October 2009, the mining rate was increased to 3.8 million tonnes of ore per year at a strip ratio of 3:1 (waste to ore). On average, sufficient ore is stockpiled for two to three month’s feed to the plant.

Mining at Guelb Moghrein is carried out in a single open pit using hydraulic excavators and mechanical drive haul trucks. Sulphide ore is treated in the processing plant producing a copper-gold concentrate.

The plant currently produces approximately 15,000 tonnes of concentrate per month at a grade of 22.5% copper with credits received for gold in the concentrate.

2018 Facts and Stats:

  • Copper in concentrate produced (tonnes): 28,137
  • Copper sold (tonnes): 27,366
  • Gold produced (ounces): 45,974
  • Magnetite concentrate production (WMT): 425,389
  • Type of mine: open pit
  • Current estimated mine life: 9 years
  • Employees: approx. 1,470


Production in 2019 is expected to be approximately 28,000 tonnes of copper, 47,000 ounces of gold, and 570,000 WMT of concentrate of magnetite. Magnetite concentrate sales of 320,000 WMT are expected in 2019.