Inspenet, December 4, 2023.
First Quantum Minerals (FQM) reported that it was forced to suspend “commercial operations” at the Cobre Panamá mine due to protests in the Central American country. The Canadian company made this announcement simultaneously with the news that the Supreme Court of Panama had declared “unconstitutional” the contract that renewed the concession to FQM for the exploitation of the aforementioned mine.
In its statement, FQM acknowledged the court decision and stated that it will “review” its content. Additionally, the company reported that due to illegal blockades in the port of Punta Rincón and on the roads at the site, the Cobre Panamá mine has suspended commercial production and has implemented a safety preservation and maintenance program.
It is important to mention that on the Toronto Stock Exchange, First Quantum Minerals shares closed with a loss of 0.78%, marking a significant drop since October 27, the date on which the Panamanian Government announced the holding of a referendum on the exploitation of Cobre Panama, resulting in a loss of more than 50% of its value.
Future closure of the Cobre Panama mine
Meanwhile, the president of Panama, Laurentino Cortizo, assured last Tuesday that he will carry out a closure of the mine in an “orderly and safe” manner.
” As soon as the formal communication of the ruling declaring the mining contract unconstitutional is received, it will immediately be published in the Official Gazette and the transition process will begin for an orderly and safe closure of the mine ,” Cortizo stated in a message. broadcast on television.
” Due to the impact on Panamanian society of the closure process, each decision that is adopted has to be addressed in a responsible, inclusive and participatory manner ,” added the president, who was criticized for his “inaction” in the face of the blockades.
It should be noted that the approval of the mining contract by Congress on October 20 provoked the largest protests in Panama since the fall of Manuel Noriega in 1989, generating a situation of semi-paralysis in the country that lasted more than a month, with road blockades. , episodes of violence, food shortages and considerable losses.
Following the announcement by the Supreme Court of Justice, made on the day of Panama’s independence from Spain, celebrations broke out in various parts of the country and roadblocks began to be lifted.
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