In previously published articles, we have explained with details, figures and scientific basis, various issues that are woven around the mining industry, creditor of multiple myths and legends, both urban and rural.
Today we are going to share from an economic and social perspective on the role and importance that our activity has played in the midst of a devastating pandemic of coronavirus (COVID-19), from every point of view, both for the State, as well as for private companies and workers and youth who aspire to enter the labor market.
The truth is that in our country, amid the chaos and unrest created by the pandemic of COVID-19, The economy was hit violently, unemployment increased, as a result of the closure of many companies, people lost not only their sources of income, either due to the closure of their businesses and companies, but also their hopes, because the young people who have traveled from student life to productive life, they encountered a crisis that no one expected and that no one invented.
We live in Panama a period of total closure, with restrictions of all kinds, some with many reserves, saw them diminished, others with medium capacity, exhausted their limited resources and those who had little, went through all kinds of difficulties, assisted in many cases by the programs and State subsidies, which, we all know, cannot be permanent.
It is imperative to create jobs, increase entrepreneurship, support micro, small, medium and of course large companies, one and the other in a wonderful symbiosis, they contribute and continue to do so with the movement of the wheel of the economy. Some supply others and others finance some, a struggle for survival that is endless, permanent and forced, even when the economic conditions of the country are normal, now, dramatically in times of pandemic, a condition unknown until March of 2020 for the vast majority of Panamanians.
In the midst of these difficult conditions, with people getting infected, getting sick and thousands of them dying in the hospitals, hotels, residences and especially in the so-called intensive care units, we learned to discipline our lives with simple and basic rules, which will surely continue to be practiced when the nightmare is over.
Hand washing, the use of masks and face shields, the increase in hygiene in general, characterized and still persists, the behavior of responsible Panamanians.
One of the activities that did not stop, was and is the mining activity, although it is true that adjustments, mandatory and sensible, were made to face the new health condition due to the COVID-19 pandemic, mining projects, those that are in the exploration stage, as well as those that are in the development and construction stage and especially the only one that produces, Copper PanamaThey have had an extremely positive impact, with the contribution made to the national economy.
More than 39,000 direct and indirect jobs, with their respective contributions and contributions to the Social Security Fund (CSS), worker and employer, all of them paying their respective taxes to the national treasury.
Contributions in terms of purchasing to suppliers of goods and services, who, in turn, have survived the pandemic and their collaborators, continue to fight for companies and their families.
Contractors, subcontractors, cooperatives, supermarkets, workshops, transporters, fuel suppliers, technicians, doctors, nurses, assistants, paramedics, dentists, in short, a whole army of workers of different specialties and qualifications, members of those companies linked to the process of production of the mining activity, we have been able to support ourselves, survive and continue with our lives in these new conditions imposed by the COVID-19 and we will continue to fight, thanks to the noble industry that has accompanied humanity in all its stages, from the stone age to today’s technology.
In short, despite the pandemic and the damage to the national economy caused by it, the Panamanian mining industry and its main project, Cobre Panamá, were strengthened as a true economic entity for the country.
We are miners, we are disciplined workers, accustomed to complying with strict prevention management standards, we face and overcome them day by day and we will continue working for our well-being, that of our families, companies and, above all, for the rebound in the economy. from Panama.
Carlos Salazar Medina
Mining engineer and consultant