Canadian miner First Quantum begins arbitration in opposition to Panama, says authorities By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A common view of Cobre Panama mine owned by Canada’s First Quantum Minerals in Donoso, Panama December 6, 2022. REUTERS/Aris Martinez

By Valentine Hilaire

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) -Canada-based miner First Quantum Minerals (OTC:) Ltd and its subsidiary Minera Panama began arbitration processes in opposition to Panama, the nation’s ministry of commerce and business stated on Saturday, as the 2 sides have been locked in a disagreement over funds and mine operations.

Panama’s authorities on Monday ordered First Quantum (NASDAQ:) to pause operations at its flagship Cobre Panama mine after the corporate missed a deadline to finalize a deal that might have elevated funds to the federal government by at the least $375 million.

Regardless of having agreed to fulfill with the federal government, the corporate selected Friday to “advance efforts” by going forward with two arbitration processes, the ministry stated in an announcement, with out giving additional particulars.

An official from the nation’s financial system and finance ministry informed Reuters on Friday that Panama was searching for a “honest” deal by which the corporate complies with the obligations its giant operations demand.

First Quantum didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

The corporate initiated one of many arbitration processes below a 1997 contract, which regulates its operations, and the opposite below the free commerce settlement between Canada and Panama, the federal government added.

The federal government has been and goes to maintain working with regulation companies Squire Patton Boggs and Allen & Overy to unravel the disputes, a spokesperson for Panama’s commerce and business ministry stated. Each companies didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Panama was asking for a upkeep plan for the corporate, which is taken into account the biggest non-public funding within the Central American nation and accounts for roughly 3.5% of Panama’s gross home product.

“The decision … that orders Minera Panama to perform a care and upkeep plan for the Panama copper mine stays in power, and the federal government will monitor its full compliance,” the ministry stated in an announcement.

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