International This Country Wants to Hold a Referendum Because of Mining Companies News – 1 hour ago

Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo proposed a referendum to decide whether to revoke a controversial mining contract that sparked massive demonstrations in the country.

A copper mining contract with First Quantum Minerals, a Vancouver-based company, has sparked nine days of demonstrations over the potential environmental impact of the mine as well as other terms of the agreement.

Thousands of Panamanians demonstrated to demand that contracts related to Central America’s largest open-pit copper mine be revoked.

In response to the unrest, Cortizo on Friday had announced a ban on new metal mining concessions.

A vote to revoke or maintain First Quantum’s contract will be held on December 17.

“Through citizen participation, through voting we will be able to legitimize the will of the people, the results of which are mandatory,” said Cortizo, Sunday (29/10/2023), reported AFP.

Cortizo also announced that his government would seek legislation banning “metal mining at the national level.”

Protests occurred on October 20, when Congress approved legislation allowing First Quantum Minerals to operate the mine for 20 years, with an option to extend it for another two decades. The President announced it the same day.

Teachers, doctors and labor unions took to the streets of the small country to oppose the contract, staging blockades in the capital and other cities, including blocking the Pan-American highway connecting Panama with the rest of Central America.

[Gambas:Video CNBC]

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