Government of Panama orders First Quantum to cease mining Operations, according to a country unit.


First Quantum of Canada has been told to cease mining operations at its profitable copper mine by the trade or industry ministry of Panama, the company’s unit in the nation announced on Friday.

Cobre Panama said in a statement that it received a formal advisory from the ministry directing it to “end extraction, processing, refining, transport, export activities” at the mine.

The miner stated that it must also take action to safeguard the facilities and prevent environmental harm at the location.

The ministry did not immediately answer the request for comment.
The government order follows months of protests and a ruling last month by Panama’s Supreme Court declaring First Quantum’s agreement to operate the mine unconstitutional.

According to government official last week that Panama may drastically lower its estimates for economic growth in 2024 as a result of the mine’s closure. Approximately 5 percent of Panama’s GDP comes from the Cobre Panama mine.

Cobre Panama said that it has asked the government for permission to fire more than 4,000 of its workers since it has to shut down the mine.

With the assistance of the (mine) union, this measure will be developed in parallel with the voluntary retirement programme presented by the company on December 3,” Cobre Panama stated.
It terminated the agreements of 7,000 mine employees last month.