Skip to content

Panama Accuses Canada's First Quantum of Operating Without Contract

Panama's government has again ordered Canada-based mining firm First Quantum Minerals to halt operations at its copper mine in the country.

First quantum minerals logo
First quantum minerals logo

According to the Panamanian government, the miner has been operating without a contract since 2017. The government is seeking to raise annual mining royalties from First Quantum to a minimum of $375 million.

First Quantum Plans to Appeal Panama's Order

First Quantum, which is listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange, has stated that it plans to submit an appeal against Panama's order by the end of the day. The company and the Panamanian government have been in negotiations over a new deal for over a year. The government had previously ordered the firm to pause operations at its flagship copper mine last month after failing to finalize the deal.

Disagreements over Fundamental Issues

According to Panama's commerce and industry ministry, there are "more than a few disagreements" between the miner and the government, including royalties, depletion deductions, and international measures to mitigate tax evasion. The ministry also says that recent proposals by First Quantum "have put more distance between both parties." The CEO of First Quantum, Tristan Pascall, stated that the company was prepared to agree to, and in part exceed, the objectives that the government outlined in January 2022 concerning revenues, environmental protections, and labor standards involved in a new contract.