First Quantum Minerals Ltd. will reduce capital spending, suspend its dividend and put smaller mines up for sale as the company seeks to free up cash after being ordered to permanently shutter its flagship copper operation in Panama.

The Canadian miner is working with banks to “address and extend” its bank loan facilities and is considering a range of capital market options to maintain its financial position, the company said in a statement. It’s also evaluating the possibility of investments by strategic investors in its larger mining assets, after receiving inbound expression of interest. 

First Quantum is under pressure to strengthen its balance sheet after Panama’s President Laurentino Cortizo late last year ordered the company to shutter its biggest asset. The mine accounted for 78 per cent of First Quantum’s operating profit in the first nine months of 2023 and the closure raises questions about the company’s financial stability, as it faces billions of dollars of debt maturing in the coming years.

The company had announced plans earlier on Monday to pause operations at its Australian nickel mine. Bloomberg reported last week that it has launched a process to sell a copper mine in Spain.

The setback at Cobre Panama wiped out more than half of First Quantum’s market value, and Bloomberg reported earlier this month that some of the company’s top shareholders had been approached by rival Barrick Gold Corp. to gauge their support for a potential takeover. 

The company has said it is “committed” to Panama despite the uncertainty, and has embarked on a campaign to advertise the mine’s benefits ahead of a key presidential election in May. 

The US$10 billion mine is one of the world’s newest and largest copper operations, and generated about 1.5 per cent of the world’s copper supply before it halted operations last year due to protests that blocked access to key supplies.