First Quantum copper output rises 26 pct

Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:06am EST

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Jan 22 (Reuters) - Base metal miner First Quantum Minerals Ltd reported a 26 percent rise in fourth-quarter copper output as it mined higher grades of the metal.

Copper production rose to 84,918 tonnes from 67,316 tonnes a year earlier.

The Canadian miner said it expects to produce 302,000- 330,000 tonnes of copper this year.

The company produced 307,115 tonnes of the metal in 2012, topping its forecast of 270,000-290,000 tonnes.

First Quantum has made a C$5.1 billion bid for rival miner Inmet Mining Corp in a deal that could give First Quantum control of the Cobre Panama project in Central America -- one of the world's largest undeveloped copper deposits.

However, Inmet asked shareholders on Tuesday to reject the offer, calling the bid inadequate.

First Quantum shares, which have lost 7 percent of their value over the last three months, closed at C$21.33 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday.

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