Panama to defend interests in First Quantum case, official says

Credit: Minera Cobre Panama

Panama will defend its interests in a legal dispute with Canadian miner First Quantum, Panama’s deputy finance minister told Reuters on Monday.

The miner had last week said it was seeking $20 billion through international arbitration after Panama ordered the closure of a major copper mine there.

The government ordered the shutdown in December after protests calling for more environmental protections erupted across the country and a court ruling deemed the contract to run the mine unconstitutional.

“As we have done before will defend the interests of the Republic of Panama,” deputy minister Jorge Almengor said on the sidelines of an event, adding the state would need to show the court that the state respects foreign investment.

He noted that the court’s decision on the mining contract was independent.

The Cobre Panama mine had represented about 5% of Panama’s gross domestic product.

(By Elida Moreno; Editing by Anthony Esposito and Kylie Madry)


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