Panama Declares Moratorium on New Metal Mining Projects

(Bloomberg) -- Panama President Laurentino Cortizo on Friday signed into law a national moratorium on new metal mining exploration and extraction activities after weeks of protests rattled the Central American nation.

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The law passed congress in its third and final vote on Friday morning. Cortizo signed it shortly after its approval, he said in a statement on X.

Read More: Panama Congress Backtracks on Plan to Void Copper Mine Contract

The law imposes an indefinite suspension on the mining of metals nationwide, and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry “will reject, outright, all new requests for those concessions.” It also requires the government to reject existing requests for metal mining permits.

On Thursday, congress eliminated an article in the bill that would have voided a contract with Canadian copper giant First Quantum Minerals Ltd.

(Updates with president signing bill into law)

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