FILE PHOTO: A general view of Cobre Panama mine owned by Canada’s First Quantum Minerals in Donoso, Panama December 6, 2022. REUTERS/Aris Martinez//File Photo
By Valentine Hilaire
(Reuters) – Panama’s trade minister said Friday he trusts the remaining Panamanian authorities will approve the text of a deal reached with Canada’s First Quantum Minerals (OTC:FQVLF) to regulate their operations in a major copper mine.
The contract meets “the best interests for the country,” Minister Federico Alfaro told Reuters, adding it limits the firm’s tax credits to a maximum of $35 million per year from a previous request of $1.2 billion.
A First Quantum (NASDAQ:QMCO) spokesperson did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the remarks.
Panama’s government and the Canadian miner agreed on the final text for a contract to operate the Cobre Panama mine on Wednesday.
Alfaro said the contract could be terminated if there is proven corruption by the company, it fails to make payments to the government or does not meet environmental agreements.
The proposed draft is subject to a 30-day public consultation process and approval by the Panamanian Cabinet, Comptroller General and the National Assembly.
First Quantum’s Chief Executive Officer Tristan Pascall told Reuters on Wednesday he met with the Panamanian president after finalizing the text and ensured it guarantees “stable and durable” operations.
Alfaro said he is “optimistic” the contract will remain in place for the 20 years stipulated, with the option for a 20-year renewal.