Panama Electoral Court says it can't hold a referendum over First Quantum mine

31st October 2023

By: Bloomberg


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Panama’s electoral court said it can’t organize a referendum over a flagship copper mine owned by First Quantum Minerals, as requested by President Laurentino Cortizo on Sunday, because it requires congress to pass a law to order such measure.

“At this moment, there are no conditions to organize the intended popular consultation,” the electoral authority said in a statement Monday, also citing logistics and other legal reasons that prevent the organisation of a referendum.

The authority highlighted that preparing the referendum would imply an additional effort to organizing the May 5 general election, when the country will elect its president and legislators.

First Quantum shares plunged the most in 26 years after Cortizo said on Sunday that a national vote on the mine will be held December 17 in an effort to quell mass civil unrest over the project.

Edited by Bloomberg


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