First Quantum Reduces Operations At Cobre Panama As Protests Drag On

Operations at First Quantum Minerals’ (TSX: FM) Cobre Panama mine have again begun the process of winding down. The process impacts the mines ore processing operations, and is a result of an illegal blockade at the mine’s port by small boats.

The wind-down has impacted one ore processing train, with two remaining operational at this time. The reduction of operations was necessary following the blockade impacting the delivery of supplies for the on-site power generating plant, as well as the loading of copper concentrate onto ships.

The reduction is expected to impact 7,000 employees and contractors, as well as 40,000 persons whom provide services to the mine, which amounts to over 2% of the workforce in Panama. The company also said it will need to reduce its weekly purchases of $20 million in goods, in an attempt to sway public support in its favor in terms of continuing operations.

First Quantum also highlighted that the blockade, along with the related protests against the mine, cost the country between $60 and $90 million per day, while the nation’s inability to reduce the protests (despite agreeing to put the future of the mine to referendum) has resulted in credit downgrades from Moody’s, Fitch, and S&P for the country as a whole.

At the same time, the frustration against the protest recently resulted in two people being shot for blocking traffic.

First Quantum last traded at $16.28 on the TSX.

Information for this briefing was found via Sedar, Bloomberg, and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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