Cortizo, Negotiating a new mine deal

Mine crud: an accidental spill of tailings from the copper mine in Donoso turns a local river gray. Environmentalists have always hated the project, Their reasons start with deforestation and get into destructive runoff and other issues. The immediate reason for the renegotiation is that Panama’s Supreme Court, after years of litigation, found the mine concession contract unconstitutional. There are many economic issues, of which the present administration concentrates on one, that the government’s revenues from the project are low by world standards.

Nito Cortizo’s remarks on the start of negotiations for a new contract with Minera Panama

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I want to take advantage of this moment to refer to another issue of great importance in which transparency and information to the public are also key factors for the success of a task of national interest.

On tomorrow, September 1, negotiations between the Panamanian State and the company Minera Panamá will begin.

For this, I have appointed a high-level team committed to the interests of the country to which I have given precise and concrete guidelines that should guide these negotiations.

The purpose is to reach an entirely new contract with the company Minera Panamá, which establishes the terms of its presence in the country as well as the conditions for the exploitation of the so-called Cobre Panamá mine.

For our government in this negotiationthe commitment to safeguard the interests of the nation, seeking the maximum use of our natural resources, prevails above all else.

This means that the country has to receive substantial and fair income from the extraction of its mineral resources and that the operations of said extraction are carried out in accordance with the best practices established for mining by the international community.

It is a comprehensive negotiation that includes guaranteeing the environmental, labor, tax, economic and social development aspects, especially in the neighboring communities of the Donoso and Omar Torrijos districts.

That is our commitment to the country. For this I have asked our negotiators for the greatest determination, integrity and transparency. That’s what the country expects from them and from their actions in this negotiation.

The Panamanian spokespeople in this negotiation have all my confidence. I know that the terms that are agreed will fully respond to the higher purpose of achieving the best use of our mineral resources for the benefit of all Panamanians.


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