Panama seeks "legal guarantee" for copper mine
Panama announced Thursday that they will submit a bill in order to guarantee the legal security of Cobre Panama, a large copper mine being completed in Colon.
After a controversial judicial ruling in which the Supreme Court of Panama ruled the law under which the concession for the project was granted unconstitutional, the project original contract remains in force.
According to Ernesto Cedeno a constitutional lawyer "rulings on unconstitutionality in Panama take effect toward the future, not backward.” That being said, the latest legislative initiative seeks to "ratify the concession contract for the Cobre Panama project" with the objective of "guaranteeing the legal security of this important private investment" as explained by the Ministry of Commerce and Industries in a recent statement.
the Cobre Panama mine is one of the largest in Latin America, and has been called the most important private investment project in the history of the country. With the first shipment of copper concentrate expected in June, Panama will triple their current exports to the international market.
Canada’s First Quantum Minerals, the mines developer, has employed more than 13,000 people in Cobre Panama alone (the company also has a mine in Penonome). It is estimated that its contribution to Panama’s gross domestic product (GDP) at 3% next year.
The project also includes the construction of an international port on the Caribbean coast from where vessels loaded with copper will leave from.
La Estrella reports "Panama, which will receive 2% of copper sales annually as royalties, has placed part of its hopes in this mine to once again take the lead in economic growth in Latin America".