"For the administration of Ricardo Martinelli, it is fundamental to reform the code and include in the new legislation the possibility for foreign governments to invest in mining concessions. The change in the law occurs just when the Government announced it will bid the exploitation of copper mine Cerro Colorado, one of the largest reserves in Latin America," reports Prensa.com.
The repeal of the mining reform approved on February 8, has left a legal vacuum.
Currently the industry is regulated by the Mineral Resources Code of 1963, except for items that were amended by the law reform of February 8, 2011, which was subsequently repealed. These article related to fines, fees, royalties and prohibition of investment by foreign states.
The Panamanian executive is preparing a draft law that will regulate the amount of royalties, fines and guarantees required from companies in the sector.
The project, which will be submitted within 30 days to the National Assembly, aims to close up the current loopholes created by the recent repeal of Act 8 of February 11, 2011 which attempted to reform the Mining Code.
The Minister of the Presidency has announced the suspension of the debate on a reform designed to punish those who illegally extract mineral resources.
A press release from the Presidency of Panama reads:
The Minister of the Presidency, Jimmy Papadimitriu, in agreement with the president of the National Assembly, Hector Aparicio, announced the suspension of the debate on the mining bill which sought to revive the authority of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Mici) regarding sanctions against those who illegally extract mineral resources.
The Panamanian National Assembly approved bill number 277 which amends the Mineral Resources Code.
The proposal, which was approved in first and second debate, was adopted with 42 votes in favor, 15 against and no abstentions and it adjusts fees and royalties to be paid for mineral concessions, which will increase to 5%.
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