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LatinNews Daily - 06 September 2021

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In brief: Panama’s private sector hails start of talks over key mining contract

* Panama’s main private sector lobby, the Cámara de Comercio, Industrias y Agricultura de Panamá (CCIAP), has welcomed the start of negotiations between Minera Panamá, the local subsidiary of Canadian mining firm First Quantum, and the Panamanian government led by President Laurentino Cortizo in relation to Cobre Panamá, Panama’s largest copper mine which First Quantum owns. Located in Donoso district, Colón province, the mine began commercial operations in 2019 and accounts for some 3.5% of Panama’s GDP, benefitting some 39,000 Panamanian families through direct and indirect jobs according to the government. Last week the Cortizo government announced the start of a series of preparatory meetings to evaluate different legal, environmental, social, economic, fiscal and labour scenarios to be considered in these negotiations in which the government is seeking to get the Canadian mining firm to pay more in royalties and improve environmental conditions at the mine.