First Quantum Minerals Limited has posted a total of 136,969 metric tonnes in copper production during the first quarter of 2019, partly boosted by its Kalumbila-based Sentinel Copper Mine, which hit record volumes.

But the Canadian miner recorded reduced copper production in the first quarter of this year, partly triggered by a suspension in its Spain-based Las Cruces operation.

Announcing its 2019 first quarter results for the period ending March 31, 2019, FQM stated that copper production hit 136,969 metric tonnes, partly buoyed by strong output from its Kalumbila-based Sentinel Copper Mine.

“136,969 tonnes of copper produced including 25 tonnes of pre-commercial production at Cobre Panama. Sentinel delivered another strong quarter with copper production of 57,716 tonnes, a 15 per cent increase from Q1, 2018, a record for Q1. Kansanshi production was impacted by the planned processing of lower grade oxide ore and lower throughput,” FQM stated in a news release issued, Monday.

But the mining company’s copper production was less than the 145,358 tonnes recorded in the same period last year.

According to the company’s data, FQM’s Spain-based Las Cruces mine located in Seville experienced a temporary suspension.

“On January 23, 2019, the company announced a land slippage at Las Cruces, and the immediate suspension of production. On February 1, 2019, the company announced the production resumed at the processing plant with the processing of lower grade stockpiled ore, which is expected to continue while the necessary regulatory approvals are obtained to begin the mining of Phase 6, an area unaffected by the incident,” it stated.

Meanwhile, FQM’s chairman and chief executive officer Philip Pascall hailed the company’s performance despite a few challenges experienced during the period under review.

“Our first quarter financial results reflect solid operational performance despite the rainy season in Zambia and lower production from Las Cruces resulting from the land slippage early in the year. We expect operational results to improve through 2019 as the ramp-up at Cobre Panama accelerates,” stated Pascall.