Illegal Mining in Panama

The mining union is complaining about lack of controls on growing illegal mining activities, driven by the need to avoid torturous bureaucratic formalities.

Monday, August 3, 2015

The main problem denounced by formal mining companies is the effect that the illegal activity has on prices, since illegally mined products sell at lower prices, preventing the formal sector from competing on equal terms. Besides the effects on the market, government revenue is also being undermined by allowing the development of activities that could be concessioned.

"... The president of the Mining Chamber of Panama (Camipa) Zorel Morales, emphasized: "We know from sources that know about sites where illegal mining is rampant throughout the area from Chepo to Darien ... Obviously, it is easier to produce illegally than face endless red tape.'"

"... This proliferation in areas with high mineral potential is due to a precarious institutional and technical capacity, with ambiguous and contradictory legal frameworks, inefficient grant systems, subjective and discretionary mining permits, emphasized Morales. He said that the State is making a clear invitation to the proliferation of illegal activity, not only in the case of metal mining, but also in the case of non-metallic aggregates. "

More on this topic

Optimism in the Mining Sector

December 2018

In Panama, activities related to mining are expected to increase by more than 10% in 2019, a growth that would be mainly due to copper extraction.

According to the Panamanian government, it is estimated that the economic activity of mining and quarrying will increase over 10% in 2019, as copper exports would exceed $2 billion per year.

Panama: Mining Concessions in 2016

November 2015

..After a year without having approved any new concessions, the government has announced plans to start processing them from 2016, but only for non-metallic mining.

The review of applications and their possible approval will start in early 2016, when the Ministry of Trade and Industry expects regulations on the new law to be ready.

Panama: Mining Concessions Paralyzed

July 2015

Entrepreneurs in the sector point out that delays in granting licenses for mining constitute a virtual moratorium, preventing investment and encouraging illegal mining.

In the view of representatives of the sector, "... 'The fact that new concessions are not granted, unfortunately, is a de facto moratorium '... " said Zorel Morales, president of the Mining Chamber of Panama (Camipa).

Panama: Mining Activity Up 25% in 2013

January 2014

With mineral reserves estimated at $200 billion, continued growth is projected for an industry that in 2013 produced $553 million.

Already identified are 50 billion pounds of copper, 12 million ounces of gold, 25,000 ounces of silver and 250 tons of molybdenum, which at current prices amount to $200 billion.

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