Canadian mining company suspends operations in Panama
The copper mine The Cobre Panama open pit, operated by the Panamanian mining company Minera Panama, a subsidiary of the Canadian company First Quantum Minerals Ltd, is located in Donoso.
Canadian mining giant First Quantum Minerals on Thursday announced the suspension of operations at Central America's largest copper mine, located in Panama, saying the government is preventing it from exporting its production.
The decision to suspend processing operations at the Cobre Panama mine, putting some 8,000 employees and contractors out of work, is part of a dispute with the Panamanian government over taxes and fees that has been going on for over a year.
The cessation of activities is the result of the refusal of the maritime authority of Panama to authorize loading operations of copper concentrate at the port of the mine, Punta Rincon, indicates the company in a press release.
The giant open-pit mine of Cobre Panama, located on the country's Caribbean coast, 240 km from the capital, is considered the largest private investment in the country. #x27;history of Panama, accounting for 4% of its GDP and 75% of its export earnings.
Negotiations for a new contract have been ongoing for over a year, but remain deadlocked over how much the company should pay in Panama.
In January, the Panamanian government considered the possibility of conceding the exploitation of the copper mine to another mining group in the event of failure of the negotiations in progress with the Canadian First Quantum Minerals.
< p class="e-p">In mid-December, the President of Panama, Laurentino Cortizo, put pressure on him by ordering the cessation of operations in the mine, discovered in 1968 and which has produced around 300,000 since February 2019. tonnes of copper concentrate per year. Judgment that never took place, said the Canadian company.
Panama demands a new agreement that multiplies by 10 the royalties paid to the company. Status by the Canadian multinational relative to the previous contract.
Talks are still ongoing, First Quantum Minerals noted Thursday.