Thursday, July 18, 2024

First Quantum’s Copper Mining Horror in Panama After Supreme Court Grants Protesters Request to Shutdown the Mine

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Panama has been the scene of intense protests and violence sparked by widespread outrage against a Canadian mining company’s operations in the country, as reported by CTV Television Station in Canada. The controversy centered on the Cobra mine, owned by First Quantum Minerals, a Canadian firm, which became the target of Panamanian protestors due to allegations of environmental damage, corruption, and unfulfilled promises.

The conflict escalated as the Panamanian government extended First Quantum’s mining contract for an additional 20 years, igniting further public fury. Demonstrations led by a diverse coalition, including environmentalists, indigenous leaders, and students, paralyzed the country, causing significant economic disruption and drawing international attention.

As the situation deteriorated, violent clashes between protestors and police became commonplace, with the latter employing tear gas and rubber bullets against demonstrators. The standoff culminated in a landmark decision by the Panamanian Supreme Court, which ruled the mining contract unconstitutional and led to the government announcing the mine’s closure.

This victory for protestors, however, raises questions about the future of the mine’s employees and the environmental implications of abruptly halting operations. The report sheds light on the broader issues of foreign investment, resource exploitation, and the need for a balanced approach to economic development and environmental protection.

First Quantum Minerals has a global footprint with operations and projects in several countries and these include:

  • Zambia: One of First Quantum’s most significant operations is in Zambia, where it operates the Kansanshi copper-gold mine, the largest copper mine in Africa, and the Sentinel copper mine. Zambia is a crucial location for First Quantum, contributing a significant portion of its copper production.
  • Mauritania: In Mauritania, First Quantum operates the Guelb Moghrein copper-gold mine. This mine is significant for both copper and by-product gold production.
  • Finland: The company operates the Pyhäsalmi copper-zinc mine in Finland, one of the oldest mines in the country, though its operations were nearing the end of their expected life span as of the last update.
  • Australia: First Quantum has the Ravensthorpe nickel-cobalt mine in Western Australia, which has had a history of operational challenges but remains an important part of their portfolio.
  • Turkey: The Çayeli mine in Turkey is another base for First Quantum’s operations, primarily producing copper and zinc.
  • Peru: First Quantum is developing the Haquira copper project in Peru, expected to be a significant copper production site once operational.

21 COMMENTS

  1. When they came here they didn’t even have money. They started by washing slimes for residue minerals at Bwana Mkubwa. They found the money here and now operate some of the biggest mines. You don’t need to have any money to create wealth, you just need opportunities. Yet dimwit politicians and economists believe that Zambians should be denied opportunities because they don’t have money! Show me one foreign business entity and I’ll tell you how they made it.

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    • It’s basic knowledge. To have a bankable idea, an opportunity and organisational ability beyond family is what attracts borrowed money which you can then use to make your own money. It’s not that Zambians do not know this; they do but do not want to practise them. So who is to blame?

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    • hope Kambwili reads this. Zambians don’t care about Kambwili, they will rather go protest in Panama.
      Get well soon Kambwili.

  2. In Zambia they come empty handed and they’re given mines and use our mines as collateral to get massive loans from financial institutions all due to our corrupt government.. these mining companies are a scam…..WHY CAN’T ZAMBIAN GOVERNMENT TAKE OVER OUR MINES 100%……Africa we joke too much

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  3. Zambian government cannot run any business/mine successfully. Ndola lime, Kansenseli. Look at the damage done to KCM after the illegal/hostile takeover. Politics, lack of accountability and sheer indiscipline. The decline in production at Mopani. On the other hand companies such as FQM and Glencore are too hard-nosed and want to reap everything leaving host countries with peanuts. They were chased from DRC, and now Panama. The world is changing.

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    • @ Swahili
      Don’t say ” CAN’T “…..you just said the Zambian Government can’t run our mines due to corruption and lack of accountability…so this means we just need a very serious and committed government ….very Patriotic Government to take over not these clowns of Politicians we currently have in Zambia…all they do is get brown envelopes and give away our mines for free

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    • #Swahili… Zambians can run a mine but too much interference from politicians make it impossible. My mine kept some of us and we literally run the show…. High incentives and other motivational action were the order of the day. Of course they will keep the top most posts. When government took over the mines, these were operating very well before. But things changed. Money had to come from Zimco for running the mines. Machinery could neither be repaired not replaced because money generated had to go to other things….we didn’t fail, GRZ failed us. Sakanya has held Mopani under very trying conditions.

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  4. WE NEED A 100% TAKEOVER OF ALL OUR MINES IN ZAMBIA …KICK OUT VEDANTA…GLENCOE…FIRST QUANTUM etc….ZAMBIANS NEED TO GET TO THE STREETS AND START PROTESTING UNTIL ALL THE FAKE MINING COMPANIES LEAVE ZAMBIA

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  5. Since 1964 they’ve been telling us that our copper was second grade so that they can get it for pennies but it turns out we have the best copper deposits on this earth …..superior quality

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  6. FQML made $7,070 billion in revenues in 2023. They paid Panama government a paltry $375 million for mineral loyalty and Corporate tax for that whole year. Besides, the company also converted Shares to Royalties in that country just like they did to Zambia. This ratio of wealth distribution is appalling and can cause such riots against alleged corrupt mining deals.

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  7. Hh through mutinta hichilema has been transferring millions of dollars every week to panama accounts from the illegal sale of our gold. I have the evidence

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  8. Correctional service bus ZCS 3222 breaking all the traffic rules on Mumbwa Road, over speeding, over taking on solid lines, forcing vehicles on opposite lane to leave the road. What type of lawlessness is this? Somebody investigate this please

  9. In Africa our leaders are a big let down…the entire African continent lacks proper leadership….even the so called Pan African leaders are not doing enough they’re just good at making hollow speeches and denouncing the West with zero action….African leaders need to speak with one voice but the problem lies with the Western puppets like HH….they’re a big hindrance because all they think about is to kiss the Western Imperialist ass…Africa is blessed with abundant wealth….in abundance of water a fool is thirsty….thats the true African story

  10. We Zambians are just talkers. Imagine even a senegalese or malian can come to Lufwanyama, hide in Chief Nkana village, join the emerald mining, marry our sisters and boom he’s a millionaire. The money he makes from the emerald is sent home and of course this money will go someway for the betterment of Senegal or Mali. So if a simple West African can out smart us what more a sophisticated multinational company like First Quantum
    All we are good at is forming political parties, crisscrossing from one party to another party, or arresting political opponents.

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    • @ DeJavu
      You’re 100% right….all we know is form Nonsensical Political parties and start making noise day in day out…whilst bazungu are slipping in and getting all our resources….today someone is insulting HH…the following day he abandons his Political party and joins the same person he was insulting…..root cause= hunger

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  11. I personally knew Philip and Matt Pascall. White Rhodesians, they can bribe their way through anything. Their COUNTRY MANAGERS are the ones who do the dirty work….NO DIFFERENT IN ZAMBIA

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  12. @Deja vu & Anonymous. You are answering yourselves in your posts. In a country of serious governance that liquidator who was given immunity to wantonly steal company money into his account would be already in jail chipping away at a lifelong sentence or better still in China would have been shot by firing squad together with all those that arranged his immunity. In Zambia the government treasury and assets are treated like goods fallen off truck. Show me company that is turning a consistent profit in IDC. Yes we have capable Zambians but maybe the should be allowed to form private Zambian owned entities NOT govt owned.

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