(Bloomberg) -- First Quantum Minerals Ltd. expects to secure authorization from Panamanian officials in the coming weeks to sell more than 120,000 metric tons of copper concentrate stored near a port that served its flagship mine.

Unleashing the stockpile of semi-processed metal could generate between $200 million and $300 million based on today’s copper prices. That would be a welcome boost to First Quantum’s balance sheet after the government ordered the closure of the Cobre Panama copper mine in November following fierce public protests. Releasing the copper cache would also bolster a tight global market for concentrate after a series of supply disruptions.

Read More: First Quantum Opens Panama Mine for Public Visits in Restart Bid

Authorities have acknowledged that the stockpile belongs to the company and can be sold, First Quantum Chairman Robert Harding and local spokeswoman Maru Galvez said in a Monday interview at Bloomberg’s Toronto office.

The mine’s preservation and maintenance plan, which includes shipping out the concentrate, has been broadly approved by cabinet and is now being reviewed by the Commerce and Industry Ministry. There’s a time consideration, given the material starts to heat up and risks environmental issues. “It’s an administrative process essentially,” Galvez said.

Commerce and Industry Ministry representatives didn’t immediately respond to calls and messages seeking comment.

Read More: First Quantum Opens Panama Mine for Public Visits in Restart Bid

--With assistance from Danielle Bochove.

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