Mining giant back to full production ahead of schedule

414Views 5Comments Posted 18/10/2020

Canadian mining giant  First Quantum has returned to full production earlier than expected at the Cobre Panamá project in the Donoso mountains, Colón province.

In July, Minera Panamá, a subsidiary of First Quantum, received an OK from the Ministry of Health (Minsa) to resume operations in the project after the suspension of work was ordered lin  April after an outbreak of coronavirus detected among workers.

The company had predicted full production at the end of August, but the milestone was reached at the beginning of the month and currently maintains 2,000 permanent workers working on the project, and another 1,100 in the isolation mandated for personnel leaving or entering. the mine.

Francisco Díaz, general secretary of the Union of Minera  Workers of said that no positive case has been registered within the mine since May.

In order to comply with the isolation measures suggested by the health authorities, in the 4 camps located within the project, it is prohibited for two workers to remain in one room simultaneously. To comply with this protocol, workers are scheduled for different shifts.

The dining rooms are closed, and the food is prepared for  take away

More than 200 workers tested positive for the respiratory disease between March and May; five died.

Spokesmen for Minera Panama reported that “Cobre Panamá invests more than $6 million in prevention protocols, which includes paid preventive isolation,  to keep the mine 100% free of Covid-19 and achieve the reactivation of 3,100 contracts. On October 8 the mine completed five months without Covid-19 cases ”.

The union secretary said t that the company's objective is to reach a workforce of 3,500 active workers in the project.

Currently, the workers who enter the mine work four weeks in a row and have a 14-day rest period, of which seven are within the isolation bubble that the company maintains in hotels located in the province of Coclé.

Since its reactivation, the mining company has dispatched 41 vessels that set sail from the Punta Rincón International Port, located in the project. 60% of the material extracted from Donoso has ended up in China, while the remaining 40% has been distributed in refineries in Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, India, Spain and Germany.

In addition to copper, gold, silver, and molybdenum are being extracted from the Donoso mountains.


Before the pandemic, First Quantum had estimated that its 13,000-hectare concession in Panama would produce between 285,000 and 310,000 tons of copper concentrate, but an update of its operations worldwide indicated that now the most optimistic projection is that the mine will reach between 180, 200 tons at the end of 2020.

Comments 5


Yo Harry...did you think things out before opening your mouth ? I do not know where you're from, but have seen similar situation in the more than 30 countries I have been in. As a matter of fact, why do they say that million of Americans are " living from paycheck to paycheck". Hummm!!! I do wonder if it is that you are only seeing " the straw in your eyes, without seeing the post in yours" type of attitude.

3 days ago

The Panamanian people live for today never thinking of tomorrow that's why nothing is saved and passed down to the next generation. Cheap booze and cheap women are that Panamanian men are interested in. The velocity of money here is incredible. People get Paid on a Friday and are broke on Monday. This is an extremely low brow society.

3 days ago
Oh ya

I know it is but a dream but it would be great to hear panama is keeping their cut in gold and silver and not selling it for more dollar bills. The USD since Nixon closed the gold window in 1971 has lost 97-98%of its value against gold. Panama plus every person alive needs to hold onto the only real money in the world, gold and silver. Zimbabwe and Venezuela have proven you can not print money nonstop without crashing your currency to the true value of zero which throughout history every paper currency does. The central banks of the world are doing this now to prove my point. And don't think the USD is ammuned, i has crashed twice before.

4 days ago
Dave y Linda

That's the advantage of mining in these third world countries. The people are poorly educated and ignorant and have no idea that their countries true wealth is being looted. The few politicians at the top get their cut. If the canal ever becomes obsolete Panama reverts to 4th world.

4 days ago

Now let's keep this operation going and strip this wealth out of Panama now while prices are still low. Once inflation starts to kick in the price of commodities will rise substantially. Panama is left holding depreciating fiat while the Panamanian gold, copper and silver have already been stripped and shipped.

4 days ago
The comments are the responsibility of each author who freely expresses his opinion and not that of Newsroom Panama.
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