Panama presents final contract to First Quantum for Cobre Mine

January 3, 2023

In the ongoing discussions between Panama and First Quantum Minerals and the operations of the Cobre Mine, Panama’s president, Laurentino Cortizo, said the government has presented First Quantum Minerals a final contract to regulate operations.

Panama’s Commerce and Industry Ministry had previously rejected the Canada-based miners legal proceedings to avoid halting operations at the Cobre Panama Mine.

Reuters reported that First Quantum was notified on Dec. 21 of a government order for it to create a plan to halt operations within 10 working days, after it missed a deadline for an agreement on increasing its payments to the Panamanian government.

In the most recent development, Cortizo vowed to abide by the constitution in the negotiations and to establish a “fair relationship” between the parties.

The two sides are at odds over such issues as contract stability and the government’s plan to increase annual royalties to $375 million, which has been at the forefront of discussions.

Crispiano Adames, president of the country’s National Assembly, said during a separate speech he had proposed a new mining code to avoid the needs of Panama being put behind those of multinational companies.

A company spokesperson told Reuters that Minera Panama, the firm’s local subsidiary, “is working through steps to respond to the ministry’s resolution, whose impact and timing remain uncertain and in order to address the complex practicalities of reducing operations of the size and scale of Cobre Panama.”

Photo: Panama President Laurentino Cortizo, courtesy of Government of Panama. 



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