The mining code changes have already been approved by the cabinet last October.
"According to the head of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Roberto Henríquez, the Presidency has decided to extend the period in order to provide all the time in the world for the referendum, so that no one can say it was done in a hurry” stated to Prensa.com.
The new legislation allows foreign states the opportunity to become shareholders in mining operations in Panama. Current legislation prohibits participation of foreign states in mining concessions.
The bill also deals with the distribution of royalties, the formation of a Mining Council, and the creation of environmental insurance.
A bill has been presented in the Guatemalan Congress to amend 30 articles of the Mining Act. Among the changes is the creation of a state mining company which may participate in public or mixed investments.
The Panamanian National Assembly approved bill number 277 which amends the Mineral Resources Code.
The proposal, which was approved in first and second debate, was adopted with 42 votes in favor, 15 against and no abstentions and it adjusts fees and royalties to be paid for mineral concessions, which will increase to 5%.
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