First Quantum suspends copper concentrate loading at Panamanian port

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First Quantum suspends copper ore loading astatine Panamanian port © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A wide position of Cobre Panama excavation owned by Canada’s First Quantum Minerals successful Donoso, Panama December 6, 2022. REUTERS/Aris Martinez/File Photo

(Reuters) -First Quantum (NASDAQ:) Minerals Ltd said connected Monday it has suspended loading operations astatine a awesome larboard successful Panama, blocking nan Canadian company's way to export from nan Cobre Panama excavation and sending its shares down astir 8%.

The Panama Maritime Authority past period ordered nan company's subsidiary Minera Panama to suspend copper ore loading astatine nan larboard until it showed grounds that its scales were calibrated by an accredited company.

First Quantum and Panama's authorities person been locked successful a longstanding conflict complete really overmuch taxation nan institution should salary connected its concession for nan Central American country's only awesome copper excavation successful operation, a cardinal plus for some parties.

Analysts astatine RBC Dominion Securities expect that each period of nonaccomplishment of accumulation would trim First Quantum's net earlier taxation and depreciation by C$150 million, excluding different demobilization costs.

"We judge reaching a woody makes much consciousness for some sides," said Sam Crittenden, mining expert pinch RBC, who added that immoderate prolonged shutdown of nan excavation would person a antagonistic financial impact, peculiarly if nan workforce is de-mobilized and re-mobilized.

The British Columbia-based institution added that it mightiness go basal to unopen down Cobre Panama if nan ore is not shipped by mid-February, owed to constricted retention capacity connected site.

First Quantum said that its subsidiary initiated nan certification process by submitting nan required impervious to an accredited institution connected Feb. 3, but has not heard backmost from nan Panama Maritime Authority. The process deviates from Minera Panama's erstwhile attack of providing internationally accepted certifications to nan Panama Maritime Authority, nan institution added.

Cobre Panama represented much than half of First Quantum's net earlier interest, taxation depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) successful 2021. It besides accounts for astir 3.5% of Panama's gross home product.