Jump to content
  • entries
  • comments
  • views

Cobre Panama Mine in Panama

Keith Woolford



This week President Varela visited the Cobre Panama mine site. This is a mega-project with $5.5 billion worth of investment, as much or more as the Canal expansion.


Many mining ventures around the world are run out of Canada and this one is no different. For a time there was a struggle for control of the property and the adjacent Molejon Gold site now belonging to the infamous Petaquilla Minerals.

First Quantum Minerals eventually separated from Petaquilla and succeeded in acquiring 80% of of the Cobre properties allowing them to proceed with funding and construction.

The area of the open pit mines is located about 20 kilometers inland from the Caribbean in Donoso, accessible by vehicle from Penonome, and of course, is under the gun from environmentalists.



President Varela Visits Cobre Panama


In January 2019 will be the first shipment of the copper mine in Panama, reported the president, Juan Carlos Varela, yesterday during a tour in which verified the progress in the construction of the plant.

The president said the activity generates currently 6.500 direct jobs and once operational, will become a major source of foreign exchange.

According to Varela, the revenue from the exploitation of the mine will be located just behind the Panama Canal and tourism.

The programming, he said, is that the first boat with mineral exports out of a port of Panama will be in the month of January 2019.

According to the president Varela, 'this project ceased to be a speculation to become a reality for the benefit of workers and the national economy'.

The project involves the export of 320.000 tonnes of copper, with the company's commitment to reforest 11.000 hectares of vegetation.

First Quantum Minerals maintains the 80% of the shares and Philip Pascal is the company that is responsible for the development of the project and for the construction of the plant that, according to the representative, rises with the priority of Panamanian workers. It is expected that already in office, in 2019, to generate more of B/. 2 billion in exports of copper, main mineral; in addition to the export of gold as secondary mineral.


This is a blurb from First Quantum's 'Cobre Panama' HR website.

Cobre Panama is a large open-pit copper development project in Panama. It is located 120 kilometres west of Panama City and 20 kilometres from the Caribbean Sea coast, in the district of Donoso, Colon province, in the Republic of Panama. The concession consists of four zones totalling 13,600 hectares.

The project involves three open pits with ore mined and processed by crushing, grinding, flotation recovery, and concentrate dewatering. It has a 30 year current mine life.

Copper concentrates will be delivered by slurry pipeline from the concentrator to the filter plant at a new port facility on the Caribbean coast. A road, buried pipelines and an overland power transmission line will link the port facility and process plant. The project also includes the construction of a 300 MW power generation plant at the port.

Once the project is fully operational, the mine can produce over 320,000 tonnes of copper a year. Our objective is to achieve the highest standards of operation, at the same time as meeting our production targets – something we’ll ensure by maintaining close engagement with all our stakeholders.

During the construction phase we estimate there will be over 7,000 jobs. Cobre Panama represents 16% of Panama’s construction sector over next 2-3 years and once in operations it will represent an estimate of $2B exports per year for 34+ years.

Key target time frame:

Q2 2017 – 230KV overland power line complete

Q4 2017 – set 1 (150MW) power station commences output

Q2 2018 – set 2 (150MW) power station commences output

2018 – tailings management facility complete

Q3 2018 – process plant construction complete

H2 2018 – process commissioning

2019 - continued ramp up






Recommended Comments

  • Moderators

Work Resumes on Mining Project

After several days of negotiation, Cobre Panama company has reached an agreement with the construction workers' union, and they will be able to resume construction work on the project.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Protests by workers at the Cobre Panama project in Colón held since the beginning of the year have kept work on the power line and the 300 MW thermoelectric plant paralyzed for almost three months.

From a statement issued by the Ministry of Labor: 

March 20, 2018. From early hours of last Sunday, the National Union of Workers of the Construction Industry and Similar (SUNTRACS) and the company FQM Construcción y Desarrollo S.A., held intense negotiations with the mediation of the Ministries of Labor, Trade and Security, managing to reach an agreement on Tuesday, March 20, which ends the labor dispute in the Panama Copper Project.

With the signing of this agreement containing 15 clauses, THE COMPANY and the TRADE UNION, are committed to guaranteeing labor peace in order to finish the work in time. It will also allow the Cobre Panama Company to resume work in a prudent period of time that facilitates the organized entry of the various employee rotation groups and also guarantees the free exercise of the right to freedom of association by the various unions that represent the workers of the company.  



Link to comment
  • Moderators

Varela pleased with progress in copper mining megaproject in Panama

Tue, 05/08/2018 - 17:09

Diseño sin título (64).jpg

Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela said today he was pleased with the 73 percent of completion of the Cobre Panama mine in the Caribbean province of Colón during a visit to the mining project, an official source said.

"I am pleased to visit the Cobre Panama Project, which has generated more than 11,000 jobs, with a foreign investment of 6.3 billion dollars, which is 73 percent complete," Varela said during the tour along with executives of the company in charge of the project, said the Secretary of State Communication.

The Cobre Panama Project will operate the ore extraction plant at the end of the year, located in the district of Donoso, in the Caribbean province of Colón.

In full operation the mine will produce more than 320,000 tons of copper per year, and once it starts operations it will represent 4 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The Government also stressed that this "historic investment" has 11,000 workers, of whom 7,500 are Panamanians from different parts of the country, with whom Varela shared.

Copper Panama celebrates 10 million man-hours without accidents, highlights a statement from the State Communication Secretariat.

One of the achievements of the project has been the alliance reached with the National Institute for the Training of Human Resources to train Panamanians to launch the T284, one of the largest trucks in the world.

Paola Quijada, a native of Penonomé, in the central province of Coclé, and a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, United States, has two years working in the department of mines, blasting design and planning.

Along with her, other young engineers shared with the Panamanian leader, as Jennifer Girón, metallurgy engineer; Noris Buitrago, engineer in geology; Nicole Jaén, Rubén Pineda and electrical engineers, Saryneth De León and Luis Espino, according to official information.

The company responsible for the project is Panamanian Minera Panama, a subsidiary of Canadian multinational First Quantum Minerals, which holds 80 percent of the project's shares.

The Minera Panama project includes the export of some 320,000 metric tons of copper per year. The contract of Minera Panama with the Panamanian State has been in force since 1997, its duration is 60 years and establishes revisions to its clauses every 20 years.

The works were suspended from February 14 to 18 due to a conflict between two unions and the company Minera Panamá.

A bid between the union of the mine known as STM, affiliated to the Trade Union Convergence, and the National Union of Construction Workers and Similar Industries (Suntracs), the largest in the country, was at the center of the conflict.

Each of these unions claims to have the largest number of affiliates and, therefore, the legal right to negotiate with the company a new collective agreement.

The project resumed operations on February 18 after the signing of an agreement between Suntracs and representatives of Minera Panama, with the commitment to continue negotiations on a new collective agreement from May 17.



Link to comment
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...