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First Quantum rises after reports of Congolese talks

First Quantum Minerals Ltd. shares rose 6 per cent Tuesday after reports the Democratic Republic of Congo is open to talks with the Vancouver-based company after cancelling a mining contract.

The agreement related to First Quantum's Kolwezi copper-cobalt tailings project was reportedly cancelled by the government earlier this month as part of a massive review of industry contracts signed years back.

First Quantum said it has no official confirmation of changes to its Kolwezi tailings contract. However, it has reportedly asked for discussions to be reopened.

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Government officials were quoted this week saying they are still open to discussions with the company.

"We cannot comment further at this stage," First Quantum president Clive Newall said in an e-mail to The Canadian Press on Tuesday.

The government review of more than 60 mining contracts is being done as it seeks ways to increase its share of revenue from projects.

First Quantum shares closed up $3.73 or 5.7 per cent to $69.20 on the Toronto Stock Exchange Tuesday. The base metals sector was 2.4 per cent higher even as the September copper contract slipped 0.85 of a cent to $2.7615 (U.S.) a pound.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, First Quantum operates the 95 per cent owned open pit Frontier copper mine and is currently developing the 65 per cent owned the Kolwezi copper-cobalt tailings project, scheduled for production next year.

It also has operations in Zambia, Mauritania and Finland.

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