I had a trip to Panama this week to see the progress of the mine build out for First Quantum’s Cobra Panama project for Mining Journal and for CGL#73. The project struck me as an example of sheer human will to overcome the odds to progress. The project is in the jungle in a remote area of the country, which meant that the company had to build all the infrastructure including port and power plant, dealing with 4.5m of annual rainfall and lots of saprolite. But the development is progressing well, on time and on budget, so kudos to Todd and Tristan, the management team.
Other than that, this was a week of finishing a feature article about Argentina for Mining Journal, and some research on the political-social environment for mining in Peru and Colombia for a private client.
I caught up with Mark Moseley-Williams this week, who has just started his new role as business development manager Latin America for Agnico-Eagle; so congratulations there.
And I sat down with Continental Gold’s Ari Sussman to talk about the tragic incident last week near its Buritica project. A government investigation is underway and it is probable that it will prompt the government to remove any remaining illegal miners in the zone. On a more positive note, drilling is rapidly ramping up, with three drills turning and a couple more on their way. One of the main early goals is to infill drill to connect the deepest intercepts. First drill results are expected in early September.
Finally, various goings-on in and relating to Antioquia this week, which I mentioned in a blog post that went out earlier this week, which you can read here. As an update, the strike by informal/illegal miners in Segovia has been going for over two weeks and temperatures are rising. Local press reports state that criminal gangs are getting involved resulting in attacks on the police and intimidation of the strikers, via the killing of worker. If the informal miners are not working, the criminal gangs cannot collect their protection money.