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First Quantum alerts Panamanian authorities of dangers of long-term concentrate storage at disputed copper mine

First Quantum Minerals’ (TSX: FM) subsidiary, Minera Panamá, issued a communiqué alerting of the dangers posed by the long-term storage of copper concentrate at the Cobre Panamá mine.

According to the miner, regular monitoring has detected an increase in the chemical reactions that generate dangerous gases and a rise in the material’s temperatures, which poses environmental risks and threatens the health and safety of those doing care and maintenance work at the operation.

Following the forced closure of Cobre Panamá ordered by the Laurentino Cortizo administration last December, First Quantum has not been allowed to export the copper concentrate stockpiled at the site. Typically, the product was quickly sold abroad to ensure its stability and safety.

“The immediate transfer of the material is critical to mitigate these risks. Cobre Panamá will export the copper concentrate as soon as it obtains the corresponding authorization from the government,” the release states. “In response to these concerns and highlighting our commitment to environmental preservation, Cobre Panamá will allocate the proceeds from the sale of the concentrate towards the costs of the site’s Preservation and Safe Management Plan, which amount to between $15 million and $20 million per month.”

The miner pointed out that in compliance with a request from the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MICI), on March 26, 2024, the company presented the updated Preservation and Safe Management Plan, as well as a detailed report on the situation of the copper concentrate stored at the site, which was processed before operations were halted.

“Transparency and cooperation are fundamental elements of our approach to the responsible and safe management of this situation, seeking to benefit all the parties involved,” the statement concludes. “We are committed to the dissemination of clear and transparent information.”

Source: MINING.COM – Read More