LatinNews Daily - 18 January 2022

In brief: Panama mining firm agrees to rise in royalties

* Panama’s government led by President Laurentino Cortizo has announced an agreement with Minera Panamá, the local subsidiary of Canadian mining firm First Quantum, to increase royalty payments at Cobre Panamá, Panama’s largest copper mine which is owned by First Quantum. According to a press release by Minera Panamá, the company has agreed to pay US$375m a year to the State. Located in Donoso district, Colón province, the mine began commercial operations in 2019 and accounts for some 3.5% of Panama’s GDP as well as benefitting some 39,000 Panamanian families through direct and indirect jobs, according to the government. In September 2021 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. President Cortizo is due to give more details regarding the agreement today (18 January).

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