New Panamanian leader puts First Quantum talks on ice

Panama President-elect Raul Mulino has ruled out talks with First Quantum Minerals until the Canadian miner drops multiple arbitration proceedings it has launched against the government for shutting down its Cobre Panama mine, reported Reuters. 

“To consider talking about mining, those arbitrations need to be suspended,” Mulino said, noting the government’s preeminent role in any mining project in Panama. 

Mulino added that any solution for Cobre Panama will not involve a new concession contract, though it is possible to allow the mine to temporarily reopen in an effort to reduce ultimate closure costs.

The outgoing administration of President Laurentino Cortizo had ordered the closure of Cobre Panama last year after the country’s Supreme Court ruled the miner’s contract as unconstitutional.

Cobre Panama, located 120 kilometers west of Panama City, accounts for about 1% of global copper production and contributes to about 5% of Panama’s gross domestic product.

Source: Reuters

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