First Quantum Minerals has suspended operations at its Frontier mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a government agency withdrew its exploitation permit.

State-owned mining company SODIMICO has instead been granted Frontier’s titles.

The company said the loss of income from the Frontier mine will not disrupt projects elsewhere.

The company invested $226m in the open pit mine and started commercial operations there in late 2007, lifting annual output to 75,000t.

Arbitration over the mine is expected to take two to three years, First Quantum said.