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First Quantum threatens to shut vast Panama copper mine over tax dispute
By Harry Dempsey and Michael Stott
Financial Times, London
Tuesday, January 10, 2023
First Quantum Minerals has threatened to close its vast copper mine in Panama if it fails to resolve a tax dispute that it says risks damaging the country's business-friendly reputation.
Panama has demanded that the Canadian group pay corporate tax of at least $375 million a year along with a profit-based mineral royalty of 12-16%, a steep rise on the $61 million FQM paid to Panama on a project that raked in $1.4 billion of gross profit in 2021.
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The Canadian group's chief executive Tristan Pascall said it would put its flagship project, responsible for 1.4% of global copper supply, into "care and maintenance" if the country did not offer certain legal protections.
"Regrettably we would be compelled to follow that directive if the terms cannot be resolved on a reasonable basis," he told the Financial Times. ...
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