First Quantum Mining - CEO, Philip Pascall
CEO, Philip Pascall
Source: Reuters
  • First Quantum Minerals (FM) has had temporary COVID-related suspensions lifted at its Cobre Panama copper project
  • The notice was issued by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Panama, allowing the company’s Panamanian subsidiary, Minera Panama SA, to resume its regular activities
  • Cobre Panama had previously been in “preservation and safe maintenance mode” since April 6 this year
  • A re-opening plan will be implemented, which includes a phased increase in on-site workers and a gradual ramp up in production
  • First Quantum Minerals (FM) is currently up 3.02 per cent to C$11.59 per share at 2:14pm EDT

First Quantum Minerals (FM) has had temporary COVID-related suspensions lifted at its Cobre Panama copper project.

On July 3, the company received notice from the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Panama, stating that its Panamanian subsidiary, Minera Panama SA, would be able to move back to regular activities.

The Cobre Panama project had previously been in preservation and safe maintenance mode since April 6 this year, following the onset of the widespread COVID-19 pandemic.

With the operational go-ahead now secured, First Quantum will implement a re-opening plan, which is expected to include a phased increase in on-site workers and a gradual ramp up in production to a throughput rate of 85 million tonnes per year.

Approximately 800 people are currently on-site at Cobre Panama, which will incrementally be increased in line with the company’s plan and guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health. Strict health policies and sanitary measure will also be implemented to ensure the safety of the company’s workforce and the surrounding communities.

While the project previously identified instances of infection, no new COVID-19 cases have been detected since April 30.

Gordon White, General Manager at Cobre Panama, said the company is continuing to work with the Ministry of Health and is confident that health protocols can be adhered to in the highest of international standards.

“The lifting of the suspension order is testament to the hard work from each and every person on the site, working away from their families over the past weeks.

“Cobre Panama has received support from the employee union UTRAMIPA, the local business community, and from the Government of Panama to reach this milestone. We are especially grateful to the dedicated health professionals in the country who have been working to resolve the wider pandemic in Panama whose efforts we will continue to support,” he added.

It’s anticipated that the Cobre Panama project will reach full production by mid-August, depending on the successful execution of First Quantum’s re-opening plan. In addition, the company expects to release updated production guidance for 2020 with its second quarter results in late July.

First Quantum Minerals (FM) is currently up 3.02 per cent and is trading at C$11.59 per share at 2:14pm EDT.

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