First Quantum Minerals and Petaquilla Minerals announced in early May an agreement whereby First Quantum subsidiary Minera Panama will pay Petaquilla up to $60 million for transfer of a range of Petaquilla assets and property rights in the area of Minera Panama’s Cobre Panama copper project and Petaquilla’s Molejon gold mine in Colon province, Panama. The agreement ensures complete development and operational flexibility for the Cobre Panama project by providing Minera Panama with ownership of all concession application areas surrounding the Molejon mining concession and control of surface and access rights outside of the defined Molejon gold mine area.
Cobre Panama is a $6.4 billion copper-gold-silver-molybdenum project that is targeting first concentrate production in the second half of 2017 (E&MJ, March 2014, p. 14.)
Petaquilla’s Molejon gold mine started production in April 2009 and reached commercial production in January 2010. The mine produced 67,493 oz of gold in the company’s fiscal year ending June 30, 2013.
Petaquilla will transfer 99,735 ha of exploration concession applications to Minera Panama and will also transfer 551.5 ha at the north end of its Molejon mining concession area to support current planning of Cobre Panama mine development. Petaquilla also will waive any rights to the Botija Abajo, Brazo, Balboa, Colina, Botija, and Valle Grande copper deposits or to any mineral deposits outside the residual portion of the Molejon mining concession area.
Petaquilla also will transfer to Minera Panama sole ownership of the Llano Grande Road, which is the main access road to the Cobre Panama project area, and ownership of other access roads as well as rights of way along Minera Panama’s electrical distribution corridor.