Panama Says First Quantum Deal Protects Against Copper Sell Off – by Michael McDonald (Bloomberg News – March 10, 2023)

(Bloomberg) — A proposed new mining contract between Panama’s government and Canada’s First Quantum Minerals Ltd. would protect the company against a drop in copper prices, while giving the nation a boost in revenue from its mineral wealth, according to the government.

The deal is a “win-win” for both sides, and will serve as the standard for future mining contracts in the country, Panama’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Federico Alfaro Boyd said Friday, in a phone interview.

“The downside price protection, which obviously the company had requested, makes sense from a financial point of view, because we want the company to continue its operations and be profitable,” Boyd said. “The better for the company, the better for the country.”

If approved by congress, the new contract would replace the original contract from 1997, which was deemed unconstitutional by Panama’s high court. That would allow the company to continue operating in the country for 20 years with the option of an additional 20, and provide a clearer legal environment for other potential investors in the sector.

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