Canadian Miner First Quantum Faces Supply Disruption As Panama Port Access Blocked

A ship carrying essential supplies for Canadian miner First Quantum’s unit could not dock in Panama as the local boats blocked their way into the critical port.

Panama Port
Image for representation purpose only

Recently, there have been increasing protests against the miner’s contract for a significant copper mine run by its local subsidiary, Minera Panama.

Due to ongoing protests, the ship has been stranded in Panama port for several days, unable to arrive at the Punta Rincon port. According to the company, the ship’s captain was forced to contact authorities immediately for docking assistance on Thursday.

According to a statement issued by First Quantum, the illegal actions by small vessels made in the port of Punta Rincon have affected the delivery of supplies required by Minera Panama.”

The company clarified that the crew was safe and that the ship complied with all safety regulations. The ship was recognised by Panama’s National Aeronaval Service (Senan) as the coal-carrying ship “CSL Tarantau.”

Senan did not provide specific details about the emergency and reported that the captain had to abort an attempted emergency docking on Thursday to avoid accidents.

First, Quantum disclosed that the demonstrations blocking the port had caused its Cobre Panama mine to reduce the amount of ore processed.

On Thursday, the Minera Panama union responded to the demonstrations by announcing that it had negotiated with the company to guarantee worker compensation because some workers could not report.

Protests broke out after the government of Panama and First Quantum for Cobre Panama, a mine that adds 5% to the country’s GDP and 1% to worldwide copper production, signed a new contract on October 20.

Protesters contend that the new terms are unduly advantageous to First Quantum and accuse the company of engaging in corrupt practices during the approval process, claiming that it strenuously refutes.

Reference- Reuters

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