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Panama and Canada’s First Quantum agree particulars for copper mine contract By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A basic view of Cobre Panama mine owned by Canada’s First Quantum Minerals in Donoso, Panama December 6, 2022. REUTERS/Aris Martinez/File Photograph

By Valentine Hilaire and Milagro Vallecillos

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) -Panama’s authorities and Canada’s First Quantum Minerals (OTC:) agreed on the ultimate textual content for a contract to function a key mine, in accordance with an announcement signed by each events Wednesday.

The brand new contract ensures a minimal annual revenue of $375 million to the Central American authorities, and will probably be efficient for 20 years with the choice to resume for 20 extra.

“With this contract, Panama expects to obtain about ten occasions greater than what it was getting” underneath the earlier contract, the assertion added.

The Canadian agency’s Chief Government Officer Tristan Pascall advised Reuters he met with the Panamanian president after finalizing the textual content and ensured it ensures “secure and sturdy” operations.

First Quantum (NASDAQ:) paid $61 million in royalties to Panama’s authorities in 2021, whereas the Cobre Panama mine posted gross sales revenues of $3.2 billion for the yr, firm information confirmed.

Each events agreed on all new financial phrases, Pascall mentioned in an interview.

The proposed concession contract is topic to a 30-day public session course of and approvals by the Panamanian Cupboard, Comptroller Common of the Republic and the Nationwide Meeting.

First Quantum suspended ore processing operations on the mine on February 23 after a authorities order halted its loading permissions on the port, limiting its capability to retailer copper.

Panamanian authorities issued a decision on Wednesday for First Quantum’ native subsidiary, Minera Panama, to renew focus loading operations, Pascall mentioned, including a ship will begin loading inside hours.

In 2021, Cobre Panama represented greater than half of First Quantum’s earnings earlier than curiosity, tax depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). It additionally accounts for about 3.5% of Panama’s gross home product.

First Quantum is engaged on bringing again the estimated 1,000 staff that had been despatched on go away whereas works had been paused and expects to renew ore processing operations within the subsequent few days.

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