FIRST Quantum Minerals (FQM) Limited has posted a record quarterly copper output of over 211,000 metric tonnes in the third quarter of this year, up 10 per cent compared to the same period last year, mainly boosted by its Kalumbila-based Sentinel mining unit.
And FQM says it is working to manage the logistical challenges presented by the closure of trade borders in response to the Coronavirus pandemic by using alternative routes where feasible.
In a statement announcing its 2020 third quarter financial results, FQM posted a total of 211,396 tonnes of copper in the period ending September 30, up from 192,510 tonnes produced in the corresponding period last year, mainly boosted by increased productive output at Sentinel Copper Mine, among other units.
“211,396 tonnes of total copper production in the quarter, 10 per cent higher than the same period in 2019, due to record production at both Sentinel and Cobre Panama. Sentinel performed exceptionally in the quarter, achieving its highest ever quarterly production of 70,829 tonnes and record low cash costs. Increased throughput and higher grades resulted in the 25 per cent increase in copper production from the same period in 2019, while lower maintenance costs, lower fuel prices and currency depreciation drove improved unit costs,” FQM stated in a news release.
“Performance at Cobre Panama was strong as it ramped up from preservation and safe maintenance in July to full production levels in August, slightly ahead of expectation. Copper production in the quarter was 62,055 tonnes, significantly higher than the same period in 2019. Kansanshi performed consistently during the quarter. Copper production of 54,430 tonnes was slightly lower than Q3 2019 as a result of reduced grades and recoveries despite increased throughput. Cash costs were lower driven by currency depreciation and lower fuel costs. Production guidance for 2020 has been updated. Total copper production expected for 2020 has been increased to between 750,000 – 785,000 tonnes; gold production expected is now to be between 245,000 – 260,000 ounces and nickel production expectation has been reduced to 13,000 – 15,000 tonnes.”
On the other hand, sales revenues jumped 42 per cent to over US $1.4 billion in the period ending September 30 compared to the corresponding period last year, partly driven by increased sales volumes at its Solwezi-based Kansanshi Mining unit.
“Sales revenues for the quarter of $1,402 million, an increase of 42 per cent from the comparable period of 2019, were primarily driven by the commercial sales volumes of copper and gold from Cobre Panama, increased sales
volumes at Kansanshi and higher realised metal prices,” it stated.
And FQM stated that it was working to manage the logistical challenges presented by the closure of trade borders in response to the Coronavirus pandemic by using alternative routes where feasible.
“COVID-19 had a direct impact at Cobre Panama where the operation was placed on preservation and safe maintenance beginning April 7, 2020, following Panamanian government restrictions related to COVID-19. The company’s other operations have not been significantly impacted by restrictions arising from COVID-19. The company has not experienced any significant disruption to supply chains and product shipments since the onset of the pandemic. The company is working to manage the logistical challenges presented by the closure of trade borders, using alternative routes where feasible. Border restrictions, if ongoing, could result in supply chain delays,” stated FQM.