First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (“First Quantum” or “the Company”) (TSX: FM) issues the following statement today on the status of its negotiations with the Government of Panamá on a framework governing the operation of the Cobre Panamá mine by its subsidiary Minera Panamá, S.A. (“MPSA”).
The Government of Panamá and MPSA were unable to reach an agreement by the December 14 deadline imposed by the government. The economic package MPSA has proposed would make Cobre Panamá one of the highest payers of royalties and taxes amongst the large copper producing mines in the Americas. The economic package was agreed on almost all clauses and incorporated the agreements in principle made earlier this year, including a contribution of $375 million in benefits per year with mutually agreed protections. MPSA believes that its proposal achieves the Government of Panamá’s revenue objectives and provides the necessary conditions to secure the long-term future of the mine. However, necessary legal protections on termination, stability and transition arrangements could not be agreed upon. MPSA remains available and open to further constructive dialogue.
“Over the past 25 years, First Quantum and its predecessor have invested at least US$10 billion to build one of the world’s largest, safest and most advanced copper mines. It is the largest private investment in the history of Panamá and a significant contributor to the Panamanian economy and important social programs,” commented Tristan Pascall, Chief Executive Officer. “Our goal remains to find a mutually acceptable resolution, which we believe is in the best interests of all parties, including our employees and their families, local communities, the country of Panamá, and the Company’s investors and stakeholders.”
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