First Quantum continues talks with Panama over Cobre Panama mine

TORONTO — First Quantum Minerals Ltd. says it is prepared to commit to a deal that includes a minimum level of tax and royalty payments as talks continue with the government of Panama over the long-term future of its Cobre Panama mine.

Chief executive Tristan Pascall says the company is ready to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

The company says it is prepared to agree with, and in part exceed, objectives the government outlined last year related to revenues, environmental protections and labour standards.

First Quantum says this includes a minimum of US$375 million per year in government income, including corporate taxes and a profit-based mineral royalty of 12 to 16 per cent, with downside protections aligned with the government’s position.

The Panamanian government ordered the suspension of work at the mine in December after the two sides failed to reach a new profit-sharing agreement, however the company is still working on its plan to put Cobre Panama under care and maintenance.

In the interim, First Quantum says operations at the mine continue as normal, with no disruption to production.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 10, 2023.

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The Canadian Press