First Quantum Minerals Ltd. has signed an agreement with LS-Nikko Copper to acquire its 10% ownership interest and shareholder loans in Minera Panama S.A., which holds the concession for the Cobre Panama project.

“This acquisition underlines our confidence in this world-class project and the strong fundamentals for copper,” said Philip Pascall, chairman and CEO, First Quantum. “The Cobre Panama project is now over 60% complete and progressing well toward its commissioning next year, and on track to be one of the major, low-cost copper producers when in operation.

Pascall said terms of the agreement with LS-Nikko Copper match the development and commissioning timetable for Cobre Panama.

First Quantam will acquire LS-Nikko Copper’s 50% interest in Korea Panama Mining Corp. (KPMC), a 50/50 joint venture company with Korea Resources Corp. (KORES), which holds a 20% interest in MPSA.