Canadian Mining Journal


COPPER: First ore fed to First Quantum’s Cobre Panama concentrator

The grinding line at the Cobre Panama copper project. (Image: First Quantum)

PANAMA – Toronto-based First Quantum Minerals reports that it introduced ore to the concentrator earlier this month at its 90% owned Cobre Panama project. The open pit copper mine and mill are located about 120 km west of Panama City. Ore was crushed and stockpiled beginning Feb. 7, and on Feb. 11 it was sent through the first milling circuit.

The focus now becomes ramping up the project to 85 million t/y by 2020. Copper in concentrate will be 150,000 tonnes this year, between 270,000 and 300,000 tonnes in 2020, and up to 350,000 tonnes in 2021.

Cobre Panama contains two distinct types of ore – saprock and primary sulphide. Together they give the project 3.18 billion tonnes of proven and probable reserves at grade of 0.38% copper. The measured and indicated numbers are 3.68 billion tonnes at 0.37% copper, and the inferred material is 1.05 billion tonnes at 0.26% copper.

The final cost of the project is expected to be $6.3 billion. First Quantum gained its share of Cobre Panama when it acquired Inmet Mining in 2013.

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