LatinNews Daily - 2 November 2023

In brief: Panama’s congress votes on FQM mining contract

* Panama’s national assembly has voted to repeal a revised mining contract between the government led by President Laurentino Cortizo and Minera Panamá S.A. (MPSA), the local subsidiary of Canadian mining company First Quantum Minerals (FQM). In the second of three votes on the issue, legislators voted article-by-article on a bill calling for an indefinite moratorium on new metal mining projects across the national territory and for the scrapping of the contract with MPSA, which has been the catalyst for widespread protests across Panama in recent weeks. The article proposing a ban on new mining contracts was unanimously approved by the 69 lawmakers in attendance, while the article to scrap the MPSA contract was approved with 63 votes in favour. A final vote on the matter is due to be held today (2 November). Widespread criticism of the MPSA contract has sparked nationwide protests which led President Cortizo to announce that his government will hold a binding referendum in December on whether to revoke the contract.

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