By Adriano Marchese
Orla Mining, a Canadian mining company, announced on Monday that the Panamanian government has rejected its request for three mining concessions for the Cerro Quema project in the country. Furthermore, the government has canceled the concessions altogether, designating the area as a reserve.
The rejection came from the Panamanian Ministry of Commerce and Industry, which denied Orla Mining's requests for an extension of the mining concessions. This development has left Orla Mining uncertain about the future of its project.
Panama has recently taken a strict stance on mining companies operating within its borders. In November, the National Assembly of Panama enacted Law 407, which imposed a moratorium on granting, renewing, or extending concessions for metal mining exploration and exploitation in the country.
Another mining company, First Quantum Minerals, faced a similar challenge in December. After a legal battle with the courts, First Quantum Minerals decided to suspend production guidance for its Cobre Panama mine when Panama's top court declared the 20-year concession unconstitutional.
Orla Mining will closely monitor the situation in Panama, but it has no plans to allocate additional funds for developing the project at this time.