PRD, Contact law and Minera Panama
The bench of the Democratic Revolutionary Party states they will not endorse bill 766 to approve the contract between the State and Minera Panama, promoted by the Varela administration.
Bill 766 was one of 12 issued tackled in the extraordinary sessions, the bill would grant legal status to the concession on behalf of Minera Panama, and extend its right to extract gold molybdenum.
During the sessions Pedro Miguel González, general secretary of the National Executive Committee of the PRD, explained "we must be attentive to the contract law with Minera Panama", which is among the 12 items on the agenda sent by the Executive. "That subject is not very clear. It must not be approved ... ", González remarked, until it is guaranteed that this contract law reverts to the State what Panama deserves because in all the mining developments that foreigners are running, they take away the national wealth and leave only environment destruction. "At this point is very suspicious that President Varela insist on the approval of this contract law," he said.
González refers to the first draft, which seeks to ratify the contract between the State and Mining Panama, after in 2018 the Supreme Court declared Law 9 of 1997, which approved the contract, unconstitutional.
The original contract signed in 1997 granted 13,600 hectares to Minera Petaquilla SA for the exploitation of gold, copper and other minerals in the district of Donoso, province of Colón. Since then, the Canadian company First Quantum has acquired 90% of the company.
While Isaías Ramos, biologist at the Environmental Advocacy Center (CIAM), explained that for each metal extracted the company must have an Environmental Impact Study (EIA), the mining company defends the production of gold is ’secondary metal separation.’