- First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM) has announced that operations at its Cobre Panama mine have been reduced to just one ore processing train
- Suspension comes after a port blockade by protestors in Panama
- Without shipments arriving at the mine’s port, the company expects to run out of supply for the on-site power plant this week
- Shares of First Quantum Minerals are down 1.21 per cent to C$15.13 as of 11:37 am ET
First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM) has reduced operations at its Cobre Panama Mine amidst protests that have gained the support of actor Leonardo DiCaprio
In a news release, the mining company stated operations have been reduced to just one ore processing train because of a port blockade by protestors.
Without shipments arriving at the mine’s port, the company stated it expects to run out of supply for the on-site power plant sometime this week.
Law enforcement has also been present at the blockade and continues to monitor the situation.
Roughly 90 per cent of the mine’s workforce are Panamanian and have been trained and developed by First Quantum.
DiCaprio expressed his support towards protestors in Panama through a social media post on Instagram on Saturday.
“This area – the protected rainforest Bosque Donoso – lying in the heart of the largest biological corridor in Mesoamerica, is a lifeline for many migratory species. It is critical to the livelihoods and cultures of local and Indigenous communities and is home to wildlife that includes macaws, tapirs, monkeys and jaguars,” DiCaprio wrote in his post. “This activity would have a destructive impact on the surrounding ecosystems, species and people. A global spotlight can help Panamanians win a critical victory for biodiversity and can pave the way for a more sustainable future.”
Protests first began in August after a government decision was made to extend the company’s Cobre Panama mine for an additional 20 years.
In early November, the mining company previously announced the reduction of ore processing at the mine because of the blockade.
Cobre Panama operates in a highly biodiverse jungle and contributes approximately 5 per cent of Panama’s GDP and represents 75 per cent of the country’s exported goods.
Despite this, fhe demonstrations have resulted in multiple deaths and negative credit actions for the country from S&P, Moody’s and Fitch.
First Quantum Minerals was ordered last December by the Panamanian government to shut down operations at the Cobre Panama mine.
“We are disappointed by the government’s actions. The government seeks a refreshed concession contract that does right by the country, its people and its economy, and we believe our proposal achieves just that,” the company stated at the time. “Our most recent proposal would make Cobre Panamá one of the highest payers of royalties amongst copper-producing nations in the Americas.”
First Quantum is a global copper producer in the form of concentrate, cathode and anode, with additional inventories of nickel, gold and cobalt.
Shares of First Quantum Minerals are down 1.21 per cent to C$15.13 as of 11:37 am ET.
The material provided in this article is for information only and should not be treated as investment advice. For full disclaimer information, please click here.