First Quantum expects no more mining disruptions from covid

16.9.2020, 19:38 - eeppo

First Quantum Minerals (TSX: FM) is not expecting any additional disruptions related to covid-19 across its mining operations now that all precautionary measures have been put into practice, the company said on Wednesday.

The Cobre Panama mine, which was shut in early April by order of Panama’s health ministry, has not had any covid cases on site since May. Normal operations resumed in early July, and full production was achieved slightly ahead of schedule in the month of August, during which the mining complex produced just over 25,000 tonnes of copper.

The focus now is to deliver consistent operational performance at Cobre Panama and maintain the throughput rate of 85 million tonnes per annum for the remainder of the year, First Quantum said. Production for 2020 is expected to fall within the existing guidance of 180,000 to 200,000 tonnes of copper and 70,000 to 80,000 ounces of gold.

At the Kansanshi copper-gold mine in Zambia, First Quantum continues to operate as expected, delivering consistent production despite declines in oxide grades and recovery. The company’s recently updated technical report showed 70% and 40% increases in reserves and resources respectively at Kansanshi, extending the life of mine to 24 years.

The Sentinel mine, also in located in Zambia, has exceeded expectations so far in the quarter, achieving higher than average monthly production in July with over 23,000 tonnes of copper, as well as in August with over 25,000 tonnes of copper produced.

Overall, First Quantum still expects to produce 725,000 to 770,000 tonnes of copper, 230,000 to 250,000 ounces of gold and 15,000 to 17,000 tonnes of nickel for the year.

Shares of First Quantum Minerals were up 6.1% by 12:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday, capping the Vancouver-based miner at a market value of approximately C$9.58 billion.