8th December 2023
After Panama’s Supreme Court ruled that Minera Panamá’s contract (Law 406) was unconstitutional, the country faces up to the fallout. At least 7,000 workers have had their contracts suspended, the mine’s owners Canadian firm First Quantum have announced a voluntary withdrawal that could take over 10 years to finish. The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Federico Alfaro Boyd has announced his resignation with Jorge Rivera Staff as his replacement. Arbitration between First Quantum and Panama has already begun with experts expecting a final bill of US$10-20bn. Although teachers have gone back to work, the prospect of protests carrying over into 2024’s election remains. JP Morgan has warned of profound repercussions on Panama’s ability to attract external investment going forward. Korea’s Mine Rehabilitation and Mineral Resources Corporation (KOMIR) owns 10% of Minera Panamá.
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Photo by: Reuters