Minera Panama a subsidiary of the Canadian Mining Corporation, has announced it will be ready to start copper mining operations in 2015 in the northern district of Donoso, Colon with 2,500 permanent jobs.
Some 10,000 jobs will be created during the construction period. at a time when the labor market will be hit following the completion of the canal expansion,
The announcement was made Wednesday July 4, during delivery to Donoso Mayor Feliciano Villarreta of $428,0 61.55 dollars in tax payments for the infrastructure of the mining project .
In August 2011 Minera Panama gave the mayor a first tax payment of $283 ,216.21 dollars in municipal taxes for the construction of roads and bridges that reach the project area and internal roads.
Steve Botts, President and CEO of Minera Panama, said that there has been progress in social and environmental programs provided by the company in Donoso. . Environmental groups like the Center for Environmental Advocacy (CIAM) and the National Association for the Conservation of Nature (Ancon) have reiterated their challenge to the development of open cast mining open in Panama, saying that the activity is risky for the environment in a tropical country like Panama.
Minera Panama representatives have refuted the criticisms, stating it is possible to ensure the development of responsible mining and the company has put in place a massive reforestation program across the country.
In August last year the company estimated the project will create $7 billion seven billion in royalties over 30 years with an annual production of some 255 thousand tons of copper a year, with gold and molybdenum as secondary metals, and some $4.3 billion will be invested.