PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The $5.48-billion Cobre Panama copper project, being developed by First Quantum Minerals, is on track for commissioning in 2018.
Speaking at the Paydirt Latin America Downunder conference, in Perth, First Quantum global exploration director Mike Christie said on Thursday that the company was targeting a throughput rate of 60-million tonnes by the end of December, with full capacity of 75-million tonnes a year targeted in 2019, to deliver around 320 000 t/y of copper.
First Quantum would spend about $1-billion on project construction in 2017, Christie said, noting that the project was some 50% complete by the end of April this year.
A further $830-million on project capital will be spent in 2018, with a final $110-million to be spent in 2019.
Once in full production the Cobre Panama project, which is the largest capital project in Panama, rivalling the Panama Canal in terms of capital spend, will push First Quantum’s total copper production to over 900 000 t/y, making the company one of the largest copper producers in the world.
Christie pointed out that the development of First Quantum’s Haquira copper project, in Peru, and its Taca Taca copper project, in Argentina, would place the company in the ranks of top global producers, including BHP and Glencore.
First Quantum is currently working on an environmental impact assessment at both the Haquira and Taca Taca projects.