The President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo informed the country that the negotiations with Minera Panama have concluded and that now it is time to comply with the formalities and procedures pertinent, which include the drafting of the new contract, the public consultation, the endorsement of the Comptroller General of the Republic and the approval of the National Assembly.
From the Yellow Room of the Presidency of the Republic, Cortizo specified that the new contract guarantees measures for environmental protection, a strict closure plan and labor provisions adjusted to current legislation.
“The negotiation had to comprehensively contemplate the environmental, labor and fiscal aspects, as well as concrete benefits for the communities of the districts of Donoso and Omar Torrijos, where the mine is located, and nearby impact areas,” Cortizo said.
The chief executive acknowledged that the negotiations “were not easy”. Reaching agreements “demanded discipline, intense, respectful and constructive dialogues, for four months.”
“On September 1, 2021, I appointed a high-level team to negotiate with the company Minera Panamá, SA an entirely new contract, which protects and guarantees national interests.
He added that economically the message was clear and resounding: “Panama has the inalienable right to receive fair income from the extraction of its mineral resources, because the copper is Panamanian and, therefore, property of the Nation”.
He explained that said contract guarantees, in accordance with what was proposed by the National Government, that the country must receive income of more than $400 million, considering the current price of a pound of copper.
The economic approach of Panama also guarantees that the country receives a minimum income of $375 million per year, a figure that exceeds ten times what was previously received by the State.
Cortizo maintained that in the negotiations he always encouraged them “lThe strength of our people, the flag on Cerro Ancón and the conviction to serve the country”.
In this sense, he concluded that the interests of the Nation are thus protected for the benefit of Panamanians.
Cortizo’s message was sent by the Presidency of the Republic through a press release.
The high-level team was made up of the ministers of Commerce and Industries, who coordinated it; Economy and Finance, Environment and Work and Labor Development. It is also made up of Dr. Adolfo Ahumada, former negotiator of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties; Manuel Orestes Nieto, a writer and diplomat; Dr. Daniel Esquivel, expert advisor in Geological Sciences; engineer Ana Méndez, geologist; Dr. Marcel Salamín, former ambassador of Panama; Dr. Nils Castro, former adviser to General Omar Torrijos Herrera for International Affairs; and the lawyer Roberto Ábrego, deputy president of the Trade and Economic Affairs Commission of the National Assembly.
The Cobre Panamá mine, located in the district of Donoso, province of Colón, it is the largest private investment in the country, contributing 3.5% to the gross domestic product (GDP) and thousands of direct and indirect jobs.