The government of Panama has authorized the withdrawal of a proposed agreement to govern Minera Panama, the local unit of Canadian miner First Quantum. The treaty was pulled from Congress to make changes requested by lawmakers.
The administration of President Laurentino Cortizo and First Quantum had reached an agreement in March on the text of the contract for the operation of the Cobra Panama copper mine. However, it still needed approval from the assembly.
The government said it hopes to work with Minera Panama to resolve concerns raised by the congressional trade committee. Anti-treaty protests have been taking place near Panamanian government offices in recent weeks, demanding more environmental protections and fewer expansion permits.
The agreement, if approved, would guarantee Panama an annual income of $375 million, ten times more than the country previously received. Cobre Panama, a major open-pit copper mine in the Panamanian jungle, provided almost half of First Quantum’s income last year and about 4% of Panama’s gross domestic product.
First Quantum and Minera Panama have yet to comment on the withdrawal of the proposed contract.
– Cobre Panama: A large open pit copper mine located in the jungles of Panama.
– Minera Panama: the local unit of Canadian miner First Quantum.
– Gross Domestic Product (GDP): the total value of goods and services produced within a country’s borders during a given period of time.
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