First Quantum reports Q1, record Cobre Panama production

The mill at the Cobre Panama operation. Credit: First Quantum Minerals.

First Quantum Minerals (TSX: FM) delivered its first quarter 2021 report along with the news that the Cobre Panama copper mine achieved record quarterly production – 82,042 tonnes of copper, a jump of 46% from the same quarter a year earlier. Total copper production was 205,065 tonnes.

Total copper sales volume was 210,734 tonnes and the realized copper price was $3.25 per lb. in the quarter. All-in sustaining costs were $1.72 per lb., a reduction of $0.08 per lb. from a  year earlier. C1 cash costs were down $0.06 per lb., but that change was offset by higher Zambian royalties.

Total gold production was 78,000 oz. in Q1 2021, up 13% from the same quarter of 2020. The increase is attributable to record production of 35,898 oz. at Cobre Panama.

First Quantum’s nickel production was 4,642 tonnes in Q1 at Ravensthorpe in Australia. Work is underway there to expand the operation by developing the Shoemaker-Levy nickel laterite deposit.

The company enjoyed sales revenues of C$1.7 billion for the first quarter, a 42% increase from a year earlier as it experienced higher sales volumes, better copper prices, and lower cash costs. Gross profit was reported to be C$540 million, and cash flow from operations was C$743 million.

For the entire 2021 year, First Quantum has given production guidance of 785,000 to 850,000 tonnes copper, 280,000 to 300,000 oz. gold and 23,000 to 27,000 tonnes nickel.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)