JIANGXI Copper has sold 1.2 million of its shares in First Quantum Minerals Limited (FQML), less than one year after buying them, because of a reportedly acrimonious relationship with the Canadian miner.

According to Mining.com, Jiangxi Copper sold off 1.2 million shares in FQM last week, just eight months after the Chinese company bought its equity stake in the miner in December, 2019.

“Jiangxi Copper sold 1.2 million shares in First Quantum Minerals last week according to SEDI filings, BMO reports. The Chinese company bought its equity stake in the miner in December, 2019,” Mining.com reports.

It cited BMO analyst Jackie Przybylowski, who said that the move did not come as a surprise.

“We have seen the relationship between First Quantum and Jiangxi strained since late last year,” the analyst said in a research note to clients.

The mining analyst also noted that FQM’s partnership with Jiangxi “was initially intended to fund an expansion at Solwezi-based Kansanshi Mining Plc, while continuing to allocate operating cash flows towards debt repayment. However, the actual necessity of a smelter expansion and the timing of when this would be required is unclear.”

Przybylowski said one consequence of Jiangxi’s move is a “lower probability that First Quantum is taken out” and “with Jiangxi no longer involved, the ‘takeout premium’ that can sometimes boost the First Quantum share price should be lowered.”

In a worst-case scenario in which FQM is unable to finance an expansion of its smelter, she said, production growth from Cobre Panama “would serve to offset the declines in Zambia.”

FQM owns Kansanshi, Africa’s largest copper producing mine, together with Kalumbila-based Sentinel Copper Mine.