Minera Panamá the Canadian controlled mining giant that has spent billions of dollars developing a mine to extract copper, gold, and silver from the mountains of Donoso, Colon, will suspend the labor contracts of 7000 workers due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The workers will not receive payment for the next fortnight. In an April 23 statement Minera, a subsidiary of Canadian First Quantum said that since April 6 it has not been producing copper concentrate, which halted exports of the mineral to more than 10 countries, especially China where 60% is usually shipped.
The company said that an agreement was reached with Untramipa, which is one of the three unions that operate in the 13,000-hectare project. The agreement agreed to the payment of the fortnight of March 30, payment of accumulated vacations, and a bonus corresponding to 10% of the biweekly salary received by each employee. The payment of the first stage of the thirteenth month was also made.
Some 800 workers are still in the project waiting for their quarantine period to end. This week another worker's death was confirmed within the project He worker was part of the group of 500 employees who are isolated in beach hotels.
In the statement, the company indicates that by availing itself of Decree 81, workers maintain their labor rights and benefits, benefits that will be activated once operations are restarted. According to the Ministry of Labor and Labor Development, more than 70.000 thousand contracts have been suspended as a result of COVID-19.
Last year the mine generated sales of $ 524 million, after producing 147,840 tons of copper and 60,000 ounces of gold.
For the sale of copper concentrate, shipped from Puerto Rincón, Minera Panamá obtained $431 million, while for gold$79 million and for silver $14 million.
The company says that despite the sanitary fence imposed by the Panamanian authorities, it has paid $167 million to 1,400 suppliers in the country.