Panama Supreme Courtroom guidelines 20-year concession for Canada copper mine unconstitutional – JURIST

Panama’s Supreme Courtroom unanimously held Tuesday that the 20-year concession for the Canadian Cobre Panamá copper mine was unconstitutional.

In its judgement, the courts discovered that Law 406 of October 20, 2023, which granted the mining concession to Minera Panama, the Panamanian subsidiary of Canadian First Quantum Minerals, was unconstitutional and struck down your complete regulation. The regulation would have created a brand new 20-year contract for First Quantum’s Cobre Panamá mine. Canadian First Quantum acknowledged the judgement. This comes after the contract was thrown into jeopardy when Panama’s President Laurentino Cortizo announced final month that he would referendum to find out the destiny of a contentious mining contract and positioned a moratorium on new contracts. 

Regulation 406 changed Law 9 of February 26, 1997, which had beforehand ruled Panama’s interactions with mining corporations working at Cobre Panamá. Regulation 9, which had granted unrestricted mineral exploitation rights with royalty funds pegged at 2 %, was declared unconstitutional by Panama’s Supreme Courtroom in 2017. The announcement was delayed till 2021, on the idea that it didn’t align with the nation’s finest pursuits and lacked a transparent dedication to social welfare and the general public good. Regulation 406 aimed to alleviate a few of the considerations with Regulation 9 and launched elevated royalty funds of 12 to 16 % alongside minimal contributions of $375 million. 

Environmentalist teams have argued that Regulation 406 was environmentally unsound and cited considerations with the speedy passage of Regulation 406. Clashes had been ongoing, resulting in accidents and deaths alongside road closures and blockages. They’ve additionally pointed to the Escazú Agreement for environmental justice, which Panama signed in September 2018, requiring states to carry binding public participation classes earlier than approving initiatives that have the potential to be environmentally damaging. 

The mine is situated 120 kilometres west of Panama Metropolis and is essential to the Panamanian financial system. In line with First Quantum, the mine accounted for round 2 % of all Panamanian jobs, and accounts for about 5 % of the nation’s gross home product. The Cobre Panama mine started manufacturing in 2019 and price the corporate $6.8 billion to construct. The corporate has said that it has knowledgeable the Panamanian Ministry of Trade and Commerce that it had taken authorized step that would lead arbitration proceedings. 


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