Panama: Mining Concessions Paralyzed

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

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

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).

Mining companies have highlighted the importance of the sector; in the first three months of the year the mining industry generated $132 million in revenue, 8% more than in the same period in 2014.

On top of the good first-quarter results there could be others if the processes for granting concessions were accelerated, as some of these have been delayed for years. reports that "... The union is also concerned about the strengthening of the hierarchy and legal adjustments demanded of mining projects. Morales said that "It is not possible nor acceptable that we should wait until the project is initiated 'to see what will be done' as we have been told to do, when countries such as Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic, where they have a mining sector with expectations that are a fraction of ours have already made preparations and have Ministries of Energy and Mines which have a modernized legal framework... '."

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.

Another Two Mines Suspended in Guatemala

June 2016

The Mining Exploitation Project Niquegua Montufar II, run by Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel, and the one called Tajmulco II, by Montana Exploradora de Guatemala, have been suspended by the government.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Energy and Mines indicates that "...Adhering to the appeal granted by the First Chamber of the Court of Appeals of the Civil and Commercial Branch constituted in the Court of Appeal, the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM), notified Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel (CGN), of the suspension of its authorization license for operating the mining exploitation project Niquegua Montufar II. "

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.

Illegal Mining in Panama

August 2015

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

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.

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