First Quantum Minerals plans to increase its copper output to 785,000-850,000mt in 2021 before gradually raising it to 805,000-860,000mt in 2022, and 820,000-880,000mt in 2023.
The company increased its guidance for the next two years based on anticipated copper prices and mining costs and expenditures, the copper, nickel, and gold miner indicated in its 2020 production update on Tuesday.
First Quantum also intends to increase its nickel production over the next two years from an anticipated 23,000-27,000mt in 2021 to 27,000-32,000mt by 2023.
Of its total production targets, the Canadian miner’s Cobre Panama mine in Panama is projected to produce 300,000-330,000mt of the red metal in 2021 with the output from the mine increasing to 330,000-360,000mt in 2023. The Sentinel mine, where copper production increased rapidly in 2020, will produce 230,000-250,000mt in 2021 with an eventual target of mining 270,000-290,000mt of copper from this mine by 2023.
In 2020, First Quantum’s copper output increased by 11pc over the previous year to 779,000mt from 702,000mt, due to high production at its Sentinel mine. The mine’s throughput increased to 57mn mt of ore processed during the year, which resulted in a 31,000mt rise in copper production to 251,000mt in 2020 compared to 2019.
The company also reduced its capital expenditure during the year with expenses reducing by $50mn against the previously issued projection of $675mn.