February 23rd, 2024

First Quantum says Panama hasn’t provided legal basis for mine closure plan

By The Canadian Press on December 22, 2023.

A man holds a candle during a vigil at a protest against a recently approved mining contract between the government and Canadian mining company First Quantum in Panama City, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023. First Quantum Minerals Ltd. says the Panama government hasn't provided a legal basis for pursuing a "close plan" for its Cobre Panama mine.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Arnulfo Franco

TORONTO – First Quantum Minerals Ltd. says the Panama government hasn’t provided a legal basis for pursuing a closure plan for its Cobre Panama copper mine.

The company says that earlier this week, the government announced it’s pursuing a plan to close the mine that it intends to present in June.

But First Quantum says its subsidiary Minera Panama S.A. has been unable to formally engage with the Panama government “to clarify the legal situation and associated environmental obligations.”

The company suspended operations at the mine in late November after Panama’s Supreme Court ruled that a 20-year concession agreement covering the copper mine was unconstitutional.

The agreement has raised both nationalist and environmental concerns, prompting widespread protests.

First Quantum says it’s crucial that steps are taken to ensure the mine is maintained safely, and the company will “pursue all appropriate legal avenues to protect its investment and rights.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 22, 2023.

Companies in this story: (TSX:FM)

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