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Cobre Panamá reaches 5 months COVID-free

Bnamericas Published: Monday, October 19, 2020
Cobre Panamá reaches 5 months COVID-free

First Quantum Minerals is aiming to further increase onsite workers at its Cobre Panamá mine in the Central American country after five months with no new COVID-19 cases.

Operations at the US$6.5bn copper-gold mine were halted in April after a number of workers contracted the virus, five of whom died.

Mining resumed in early July, with health ministry Minsa initially allowing 2,000 workers to return to the property.

The mine completed five months with no new virus cases earlier in October, local news website MENAFN reported, citing a spokesperson for local subsidiary Minera Panamá.

Production at Cobre Panamá returned to normal levels in early August.

Since the restart, the company has made 41 shipments from the Punta Rincón port, with 60% headed for China.

The Vancouver-based company aims to increase the active workforce to 3,500, Francisco Díaz, general secretary of the mining workers union was quoted as saying.

Cobre Panamá is expected to produce 180,000-200,000t copper and 70,000-80,000oz gold this year.

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