In the News from Panama

Cobre Panama Mine Returning to Full Operation

One of the largest copper and gold mining operations in the world is ramping up its operations sooner than expected, which is good news for Panama’s economy.

The Cobre Panama mine is a major driver of the local economy and one of the reasons that economists around the world expect Panama to continue to grow for many years. Coupled with the Panama Canal, the mining operation, developed by First Quantum Minerals, provides a solid foundation for Panama’s recovery forecast, and it’s one of the reasons GDP is expected to bounce back quickly when the country fully reopens.

In a recent earnings report, the Canada-based company raised its full-year copper and gold production guidance, noting that Cobre Panama was returning to full production sooner than expected. The operation “ramped up from preservation and safe maintenance in July to full production levels in August,” the company reported. Copper production for the Panama operation in the quarter was 62,055 tonnes, significantly higher than the same period in 2019 when the mine started production.

“Cobre Panama restarted normal operations and was back into full production well ahead of schedule,” CEO Philip Pascall said in a statement.

The company’s quarterly report was good news on many levels. The price of copper was 6 percent higher than the same period in 2019, which will certainly bolster the Panama operation. Overall, the company produced 10 percent more copper in the quarter than a year earlier, in large part due to Cobre Panama.

In the next few years, the mine is expected to generate billions for Panama’s economy. In addition to direct revenue, the mine attracts dozens of related companies, who will bring their own employees to Panama. And that will provide a steady flow of renters and investors to Panama’s real estate market.

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