First Quantum to kick off massive $5.48bn copper mine in Panama in just months – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – May 18, 2017)

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Commissioning of the vast Cobre Panama mine will begin in early 2018.

Canada’s First Quantum Minerals (TSE:FM) is just a few months away from commissioning its massive $5.48 billion copper project in Panama, one of the largest of very few new red metal mines to begin production by the end of the decade.

The company, which gained control over the Cobre Panama project in 2013 with the acquisition of rival Canadian copper miner Inmet Mining, said Thursday the open-pit mine was now about 50% complete.

Speaking at the Paydirt Latin America Downunder conference, in Perth, First Quantum global exploration director, Mike Christie, said the firm would spend close to $1 billion this year to advance construction at the project, located about 120 km west of Panama City, and 20 km from the Caribbean Sea coast.

The Toronto-based miner plans to invest a further $830 million next year and $110 million in 2019, when the mine is expected to reach full capacity of 320,000 tonnes of copper annually.

Once that happens, First Quantum’s total production will surpass 900,000 tones a year, making the company one of the world’s top six copper producers.

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