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LatinNews Daily - 16 July 2021

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In brief: Panama appoints team to negotiate with FQM

* Panama’s President Laurentino Cortizo has announced the appointment of a team of negotiators that will establish a dialogue with Minera Panamá, the local subsidiary of Canadian mining firm Frist Quantum Minerals (FQM), which operates Cobre Panamá, the country’s largest copper mine located in the Donoso district, Colón province. The negotiators’ mission will be to resolve pending legal issues with the company and ensure the country receives higher royalties for the exploitation of Cobre Panamá. The team will be led by the economy and finance ministers and include the participation of the environment and labour ministers, as well as engineers, scientists, lawyers, diplomats, and seasoned negotiators. Large scale mining is a contentious issue in Panama, with many Panamanians opposed to the practice for environmental reasons and the presence of mines in indigenous areas or areas with high biodiversity, which makes the issue a politically sensitive one for the Cortizo government.