Cobre Panama (Au & Ag)

Location: Panama, Central America & Mexico
Operator: First Quantum Minerals Ltd.
Stream: Gold and Silver Stream

Cobre Panama is one of the world’s largest copper-gold-silver porphyry deposits in operation and is 90% owned by First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (“First Quantum”) and 10% by Korea Resources Corp. (“KORES”). A subsidiary of Franco-Nevada contributed a total of $1.36B to the construction of Cobre Panama. Franco-Nevada has two precious metals streams with slightly different terms:

  • Fixed Ongoing Payment Stream - Effective since 2015 and applies to First Quantum’s original 80% interest in Cobre Panama.
  • Floating Ongoing Payment Stream - In January 2018, a subsidiary of Franco-Nevada agreed to add a new precious metals stream which increased its coverage to 100% of the ownership of the Cobre Panama operation. Effective since March 2018 and applies to First Quantum’s 10% indirect interest acquired from LS-Nikko Copper Inc.’s and KORES’ 10% indirect interest.

The amount of precious metals deliverable under both the Fixed Payment Stream and Floating Payment Stream is indexed to the copper in concentrate shipped. The main difference between the Fixed Payment Stream and Floating Payment Stream is the ongoing price per ounce paid. As of November 2020, the current ongoing payment of the Fixed Payment Stream is fixed per ounce payments of $437.37/oz gold and $6.56/oz silver with a 1.5% annual inflation factor. The Floating Payment Stream ongoing price per ounce for deliveries is 20% of the spot price for the current Mineral Reserve life and higher thereafter.

First Quantum introduced first ore into the milling circuit on February 11, 2019 at Cobre Panama and the project achieved commercial production on September 1, 2019. Cobre Panama temporarily suspended operations from April to July 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This interrupted the ramp-up to an annualized throughput of 85 million tonnes per annum (“Mtpa”) which is now expected to be achieved in 2021. First Quantum has stated the potential to accommodate a further increase to 100 Mtpa during 2023. From January 1, 2019 until the mill throughput reached 58 Mtpa, Franco-Nevada was entitled to a 5% return on its capital invested. The return will be achieved by a $100 per gold ounce discount in the ongoing price for the initial ounces acquired. Cobre Panama has a planned mine life of approximately 35 years.

The delivery of precious metals to Franco-Nevada is indexed to the copper in concentrate shipped. Franco-Nevada sold 76,348 GEOs from the mine in 2020, compared with 43,554 GEOs in 2019, and in 2021 expects sales from its Cobre Panama stream to be between 105,000 and 125,000 GEOs.


  • Potential expansion planned to achieve target throughput of 100 Mtpa during 2023
  • Concession covers an area of approximately 130 km2

2020 2019 2018
Revenue to Franco-Nevada ($ million) $ 135.4 $ 64.7 $ -