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First Quantum marches to 800,000 copper goal

Kitco News

With its Cobre Panama mine kicking in, First Quantum (TSX: FM) said today it produced 702,148 tonnes of copper in 2019, up from 605,853 a year prior.

The company released its end of year production results.

CEO Philip Pascall said all mines are operating well.

“2019 saw the company achieve record production in Q4 and for the year overall. We are now well on our way to our goal of producing more than 800,000 tonnes of copper a year,“ said Pascall. “This outcome was only possible due to the highly successful commissioning of Cobre Panama, an enormous project by any standard, which was completed in the year.”

Despite the higher production, all-in-sustaining cost stayed nearly the same, up 4 cents to $1.78 per pound of copper.

Gross profit for the year was down, $790 million compared to $978 million a year ago.

Outlook is for 830,000 to 880,000 tonnes of copper in 2020. In subsequent years, the company sees a slight decline to 800,000 to 850,000 tonnes.

First Quantum plans to mine more nickel. In the first quarter of 2020, the company’s Ravensthorpe nickel mine is planned to restart operations. Production of between 15,000 to 20,000 tonnes of nickel is expected for the full year 2020 increasing to between 25,000 to 28,000 for the following two years.

Jiangxi Copper has been circling First Quantum, and owns over 10% of Quantum.

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