Amid unrest, Panama moves to spur mining


Amid rioting at the University of Panama and skirmishes between indigenous people and police, Panama’s National Assembly this month passed legislation intended to attract foreign investment to the mining sector and spur the development of two of the world’s largest open-pit copper mines. The 42-15 vote, held Feb. 10, overturns a 1963 ban on mining investment involving foreign governments and more than doubles mining royalties to 5%. Supporters portray the move as a huge boost for Panama’s economy, saying it will lead to hundreds of millions of dollars of Korean and Singaporean investment and make mining Panama’s second largest income earner after the Panama Canal. Of particular interest are Cerro Colorado, a mine that would tap an estimated 25 billion pounds of copper in... [Log in to read more]

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