First Quantum Minerals announced in mid-February that its board of directors has approved an expansion of throughput capacity at its Cobre Panama open-pit copper project by 15% to 85 million metric tons per year (mt/y), along with upgrades to certain areas of the project to accommodate a further increase to 100 million mt/y after 2022. Altogether, Cobre Panama’s total development capital is now estimated at $6.3 billion, with an improved capital intensity of $18,000/mt of copper produced, assuming an annual production rate of 350,000 mt of copper in concentrate.
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