First Quantum says open to adjusting contract for Panama operations

Cobre Panama mine is First Quantum Minerals’ largest copper operation. (Image courtesy of Cobre Panama.)

Canadian miner First Quantum said on Wednesday that it is willing to analyze and revise four points within the proposed contract between itself and Panamato regulate its operations in the country.

The Central American country’s government authorized on Tuesday the withdrawal of the contract from Congress to make changes requested by lawmakers.

The company said in a statement it will collaborate with the government to ensure the contract’s approval.

President Laurentino Cortizo’s administration and the Canadian miner initially agreed on the text of the contract to operate the key Cobre Panama copper mine in March, but it was awaiting the green light from Congress.

Hundreds have gathered near Panama’s government buildings in recent weeks to protest the contract, demanding more environmental protections and fewer expansion permits.

Operations at the Cobre Panama mine, a large open-pit copper mine, have not been affected by the latest developments, a spokesperson from First Quantum local unit Minera Panama told Reuters.

(By Valentine Hilaire; Editing by Brendan O’Boyle and Isabel Woodford)


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