First Quantum Minerals has launched an international arbitration case against the Democratic Republic of Congo for the withdrawal of a licence for its Frontier mine.

A case filed at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington, DC, US, relates to the unjustified withdrawal and reissue of mining permits, and seeks their return and compensation for losses incurred to the company.

The company suspended operations at Frontier last month after the government withdrew its exploration permit.

First Quantum also has two other legal processes underway regarding the loss of permits for the disputed Kolwezi assets, including a lawsuit against Kazakh mining group ENRC, which bought rights for the project.