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First Quantum reduces ore processing at Cobre Panama

13th November 2023

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

     

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Toronto-listed First Quantum Minerals said on Monday that it had begun to reduce ore processing operations at the Cobre Panama mine amid an illegal blockade at the mine’s Punta Rincon port.

The blockade of small boats at the port is affecting the delivery of supplies for the mine’s site power generation plant, which are needed for full operations.

Subsidiary Minera Panama (MPSA) has ramped down one ore processing train, while two remain operational, the copper miner reported in a statement.

“First Quantum and MPSA respect the right to protest in a safe and lawful manner; however, the illegal actions at the port are impacting operations at Cobre Panama just as the illegal blockades by protestors in other parts of the country over the last three weeks have been impacting the daily lives of Panamanians and the Panamanian economy,” said First Quantum.

Citing the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama, the mining company said the protests and road blockades across the country cost the economy between $60-million and $90-million a day.

First Quantum also warned that, should normal port activities not resume, the reduction of ore processing capacity at Cobre Panama would impact more than 7 000 employees and contractors, as well as 40 000 people whose livelihood was directly associated with providing services to the mine.

The Cobre Panama mine has faced severe challenges in recent weeks, as opposition to the mine ramped up with protestors claiming that the contract favoured the mining company too much. Protests have escalated into an anti-government movement.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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