Sixty percent of the copper extracted from the Canadian owned open-cast mine in Donosco, Colón is destined for China the world’s biggest consumer of the mineral.
Of the 84, 223 tons of copper that were extracted from the material that has been exported through Puerto Rincón since last June, 60% has gone to smelters located in the second-largest economy in the world reports La Prensa
China consumes 3.453 billion tons of about 50% of the world's production of copper.
Data from Minera Panama, a subsidiary of Canada's First Quantum, which since 2013 has the rights to 13,000 hectares in Donoso, reveal that, in addition to China, the remaining 40% of the copper is mined in the Colón has been going to Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, India, Spain, and Germany.
First Quantum announced last September the start of commercial production of copper concentrate, after the plant operated for more than 90 days, at 70% of capacity.
Until the end of November, Minera Panama had dispatched 17 ships loaded with concentrate, which is the material obtained after crushing the stone. Three boats leave monthly from Puerto Rincón, and since the beginning of the operation $2.5 million dollars have been paid in tolls to the Panama Canal.
"All shipments, from the first, are counted to pay royalties to the State, since they are paid on the billing, once the penalties corresponding to the transfer have been deducted, humidity, among other factors that affect," said spokesmen for Minera Panama.
First Quantum‘s third-quarter financial report said that the Panama Copper project had brought $210 million to its total income, which resulted in a profit of $36 million.
Under the terms of the contract, signed in 1997, the State receives 2% royalties for the gross sale of all minerals extracted from the project, where, in addition to copper and silver, there are molybdenum deposits.
In addition to the 84 ,023 tons of copper, the mining project has generated 32,024 ounces of gold.
During the third quarter of the year, the company processed 12.8 million tons of ore, obtaining a recovery of 87%. Due to the pace registered until September, First Quantum estimates that its project in Panama will process between 140,000 and 175,000 tons of copper this year.