Panama’s Supreme Court is currently reviewing a lawsuit that claims the contract between the nation and copper mining company First Quantum Minerals Ltd. infringes upon the constitution. The court has announced that it will provide its opinion on the matter within the next 10 business days. Should the court proceed with the case, it will request written arguments from both sets of attorneys involved, ultimately leading to a decision by the magistrates.
Shares of First Quantum Minerals experienced a decline in Canada’s trading market following the court’s statement, seeing a 3% drop as of 11:40 a.m. in Toronto. The mine operated by First Quantum Minerals is a significant source of revenue, contributing approximately 1.5% to global copper output.
On October 20th, Panama’s congress approved an amended contract with First Quantum Minerals, granting the company mining rights for 20 years, with the potential for an additional 20-year extension. The agreement also includes a minimum annual payment of $375 million to the government. President Laurentino Cortizo has stated that this payment will be used to enhance pension payments for retirees, effective November 20.
However, various groups, including unions, environmental activists, and students, contend that the contract undermines the nation’s sovereignty over its mineral resources. They demand a national referendum to address the matter. In response to these concerns, protestors have taken to the streets, blocking highways with burning tires and rocks as a means of expressing their discontent. The demonstrations gained momentum throughout the week, with activists advocating for the contract’s repeal.
It will be interesting to observe the Supreme Court’s decision on this contentious issue and the potential repercussions it may have on Panama’s mining industry as a whole.
1. What is the lawsuit against First Quantum Minerals Ltd. about?
The lawsuit alleges that the contract between Panama and First Quantum Minerals Ltd. violates the nation’s constitution.
2. What is the current status of the lawsuit?
Panama’s Supreme Court is currently reviewing the lawsuit and will provide an opinion within 10 business days.
3. How has First Quantum Minerals’ stock been affected?
Following the court’s statement, shares of First Quantum Minerals dropped by 3% in Canada’s trading market.
4. What is the significance of the mine operated by First Quantum Minerals?
The mine is First Quantum Minerals’ primary source of revenue and accounts for approximately 1.5% of global copper output.
5. Why are there protests against the contract?
Various groups, including unions, environmental activists, and students, believe the contract undermines Panama’s national sovereignty over its mineral resources. They demand a national referendum to address the issue.