Panama demands $ 375 million from a Canadian company for the operation of a mine

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Panama demands $375 million from a Canadian company for the operation of a mine

The Cobre mine is the largest mine in Central America and produces 300,000 tons of copper per year.

Panama said on Friday that negotiations with Canada's First Quantum Minerals to extend the concession for a giant copper mine were “at a standstill”, five days before the signing deadline expired. /p>

The largest mine in Central America produces 300,000 tons of copper per year. The open pit site began production in February 2019 and represents 4% of Panama's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Talks on concluding a new contract have not made sufficient progress and have stalled, the Department of Trade and Industry said in a statement.

Minera Panama must sign an agreement regarding the Cobre Panama mine by December 14 or the Panamanian government will take alternative measures for the exploitation of the mine, added the ministry, without specifying what measures it could be.

In January, Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo announced his intention to toughen the site's operating conditions.

With the new contract, the Canadian company should pay some $375 million a year to the Panamanian state, 10 times more than so far.

We will only accept a deal that is fair to the Panamanian people and meets international standards, the Panamanian ministry said on Friday.

If the operating company refuses the terms of the new contract, it will have to cease its activities in the country after having invested more than 10 billion dollars between earthworks, construction a power plant, a port, housing for its 7,200 employees or even the purchase of heavy equipment.

The boss of the Panamanian mining company, the Scottish Keith Green, told AFP on Tuesday that the company intended to reach a OK.

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