Cobre Panama Wants to contribute to mine closure plan

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By LatAm Reports Editor

The company notes that they have not been given space to discuss the implementation of the environmental stabilization measures of the site.

Cobre Panama reported its position on Friday after the Ministry of Trade and Industries (MICI) shared this week the action plan for the orderly and definitive closure of the Donoso mine.

According to First Quantum’s subsidiary, since the entry into force of the unconstitutionality ruling, they have not been given room to dialogue on the implementation of the site’s environmental stabilization measures and to understand the legal status regarding their environmental obligations corresponding to this phase.

Cobre Panama showed its willingness to participate in formal discussions and has offered its knowledge and experience in planning for the safe management of the site, particularly with regard to the multiple environmental, social and economic factors that need to be considered.

“It is necessary to establish the panel with multidisciplinary experts and international organizations to prepare a plan that has the participation of the company, given our deep experience and knowledge of the site,” the company said.

It also stresses that in order to avoid environmental damage in the current non-operational phase, the road to access to the mine and the international port must be cleared as a matter of urgency.

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In this regard, they demand that the competent authorities restore free transit and the opening of all communication routes to the site.

Copper Panama holds the competent authorities responsible for the environmental consequences that can occur if critical supplies are still unable to access the mine.

The company claims that all copper concentrate production work has ceased. It rigorously complies with Panamanian legislation and complies with the Supreme Court ruling of 28 November 2023.

Tristan Pascall, CEO of First Quantum, stressed that they want to be part of the long-term solution in Panama, which involves responsibly addressing the environmental problems that are imminent.

According to Bloomberg, First Quantum acknowledges that it should have better communicated the value of the mine to the general public and will now spend more time interacting with Panamans before next year’s elections.

The sudden closure of First Quantum’s biggest profit generator has raised doubts about its balance sheet, with billions of dollars of debt due in the coming years. Analysts at Bank of Nova Scotia have suggested the company sells assets, including part of its operations in Zambia.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in PanAmerican