Panama Copper Mine Ordered to Be Shut by Supreme Court as Unconstitutional
Protests against the copper mine in Panama.
The government renegotiated a contract with Minera Panamá in October that increased mining royalties for the country — at least $375 million annually. In 2021, it paid only $61 million in royalties. The contract also extended the mining concession another 20 years, sparking the protests.
One of the challenges to the constitutionality of the contract focused on tendering, a process in which companies are invited to bid on a project, ensuring a fair market and competition. If tendering wasn’t carried out before the government awarded the contract to Minera Panamá, the concession would be unconstitutional.
“Panama is an example of the growing desire of Mesoamerican peoples to protect biodiversity and develop sustainable economic alternatives that move away from extractive industry and deforestation,” Esteban Brenes-Mora, Re:wild senior Mesoamerica associate, said in a statement. “The people of Panama see the value of nature and are standing up for their rights and the rights of their wildlife and wildlands.”
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