Breaking News
Get 40% Off 0
Is NVDA a 🟢 buy or 🔴 sell? Unlock Now

First Quantum suspends commercial production at Panama mine

Published Nov 28, 2023 11:11AM ET Updated Nov 29, 2023 12:51PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: View of the Cobre Panama mine, of Canadian First Quantum Minerals, in Donoso, Panama, December 6, 2022. REUTERS/Aris Martínez/File Photo

(Reuters) - Canadian miner First Quantum Minerals (OTC:FQVLF) suspended commercial production at its flagship Cobre Panama mine on Tuesday after the Panama Supreme Court ruled its contract to operate the mine as unconstitutional.

The contested contract gave First Quantum (NASDAQ:QMCO) a 20-year mining right with an option to extend for another 20 years in return for $375 million in annual revenue to Panama.

Cobre Panama accounts for about 1% of global copper production and contributes to about 5% of Panama's gross domestic product.

Here's a look at the events since December last year as the ruling puts the company on the long and unpredictable road of international arbitration:


Dec. 15: Panama orders First Quantum to pause operations at Cobre Panama after missing a deadline to finalize a deal that would have increased payments to the government.

Dec. 24: First Quantum starts arbitration process against Panama.


Feb 23: First Quantum suspends ore processing at the mine.

March 8: Panama and First Quantum agree on the final text for a contract to operate the mine.

March 15: First Quantum resumes operations at Cobre Panama.

Sept. 9: First Quantum reaches a deal over wages with the workers union at Cobre Panama.

Oct. 3: Panama's government authorizes the withdrawal of the proposed contract to regulate operations of First Quantum's local unit.

Oct 10: Panama's cabinet approves a modified version of the government's contract.

Oct 20: Panama's President Laurentino Cortizo gives final approval of a law authorizing a new long-term contract for the mine.

Oct 24: Police arrest nearly 50 protesters in confrontations over the new contract.

Oct 27: Cortizo says the country will reject all new mining projects after widespread protests against the deal.

Oct 29: Cortizo says Panama will hold a referendum to decide whether to scrap the contract with the Canadian miner.

Oct 30: Panama's electoral court says currently there are not "conditions" to hold a referendum on the disputed mining contract.

Nov 2: Panama's lawmakers scratch provisions to cancel the contract with First Quantum from a proposed bill banning new mining concessions in the country.

Nov. 7: Two people taking part in an anti-government protest in Panama are shot dead by an assailant.

Nov. 13: First Quantum says reduced ore processing at mine as protesters block access to ports.

Nov. 16: The company and workers at the mine reach an agreement guaranteeing salaries as protests continue.

Nov. 24: Panama's top court starts deliberations to rule on several constitutional challenges to the contract.

Nov. 27: The company says it hopes to avoid arbitration with Panama's government by resolving disagreements during a 90-day period for talks.

Nov. 28: Panama Supreme Court rules First Quantum's contract to operate the copper mine as "unconstitutional". Cortizo government to proceed with the shutdown of the mine. First Quantum says it is suspending commercial production at the mine amid protests.

First Quantum suspends commercial production at Panama mine

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.
  • Any comment you publish, together with your profile, will be public on and may be indexed and available through third party search engines, such as Google.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email