Fitch Ratings has affirmed First Quantum Minerals' long-term issuer default rating and senior unsecured rating at 'B' with a stable outlook.
The recovery rating for its senior unsecured issues is 'RR4'.
Fitch said it would reassess the recovery rating of FQM's unsecured issues and the potential for notching down after the receipt of the final project finance documentation and an understanding of the new group capital structure.
Fitch believes that FQM's operational profile remains consistent with a 'BB' category rating.
However, the rating is driven by the company's high debt levels and weak credit metrics, including expected leverage of about 7.0x in 2017, which Fitch anticipates will then decline towards 5x by 2019 (excluding project finance debt).