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First Quantum up as Jiangxi Copper buys top shareholder's unit for US$1.12B

Vancouver, British Columbia-headquartered base metals miner First Quantum Minerals Ltd.'s shares on the TSX increased as much as 5% to their highest since May then closed at a 4.3% gain Dec. 9 after Jiangxi Copper Co. Ltd. announced its purchase of PIM Cupric Holdings Ltd. from Pangaea Investment Management Ltd., First Quantum's largest shareholder with a 17.7% stake, for US$1.12 billion.

Following the deal's announcement, Jiangxi Copper's shares were trading at over 4% higher in Shanghai on Dec. 10.

The transaction adds to speculation on First Quantum amid rising expectations for copper deals as the metal is viewed as a critical ingredient in low-carbon technologies, Reuters reported.

Rio Tinto reportedly entered the bidding for First Quantum as Jiangxi Copper is prevented from amassing more than a 20% stake in the company under an October standstill agreement.

In late November, First Quantum was said to be in early-stage discussions with Rio Tinto over a potential joint venture to develop the La Granja copper project in Peru.