First Quantum Minerals Limited (FQML) has offered the Zambian government US$700 million to buy off the latter’s 20 per cent stake in its subsidiary Kansanshi Mining Plc through ZCCM-IH.

According to Bloomberg, the Canadian miner, which already owns 80 per cent of the Solwezi-based Kansanshi Mine, submitted a business proposal last year that included US$300 million to $400 million in cash, and an equal amount in special royalties over more than 10 years.

“The proposal, which was submitted last year, includes US $300 million to US $400 million in cash, and an equal amount in special royalties, over more than 10 years, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to comment. First Quantum spokesman John Gladston declined to comment,” Bloomberg reported in a story published, Monday.

“Amos Chanda, Zambian President Edgar Lungu’s spokesman, didn’t immediately respond to a call and message seeking comment, and neither did a spokeswoman for ZCCM-IH. The deal would also include ZCCM-IH dropping a US$1.4 billion legal claim against First Quantum over a loan the company received from Kansanshi, the people said. The government is still considering the proposal, according to one of the people.”

Ministry of Finance spokesperson Chileshe Kandeta elaborated more on the proposed transaction in an SMS, Tuesday:

“There are multiple unsolicited offers on the table, including from FQM, which are based on preferential share conversions,” Kandeta stated.

“The offers relate to the Ministry’s 17 per cent holding in ZCCM-IH and a sale would be subject to Cabinet approval.”

FQM hit a record-breaking 605,853 metric tonnes in copper production last year, mainly boosted by two of its Zambian subsidiaries in Kansanshi and the Sentinel Copper Mine in Kalumbila District.

According to official Ministry of Mines data, FQM’s Kansanshi recorded 249,532 metric tonnes last year in copper output making it the highest among all 10 mining companies in the country for a third successive year.

Kansanshi is FQM’s biggest mine, and accounted for more than half the company’s revenue in 2017.