Despite having processed and exported $500 million in gold between 2012 and 2014, its subsidiary Petaquilla Gold has run out of money to continue mining.
Some 20 months after the suspension of mining operations at the mining site in Molejon, damage to the facility's infrastructure is already clearly evident and Panama’s government has been left holding the can for cleanup and environmental safeguard operations
Since work stopped in December 2013, the infrastructure at the mine has been deteriorating due to the climate and vandalism reports La Prensa.
Yamil Sánchez, of the Ministry of the Environment,says that thieves have broken into the site to steal copper pipes and other items to sell on the black market.
Jorge Obón, a spokesman for Petaquilla Gold, accepted that the company has had to reduce its security at the site due to a lack of funds, but said that at no time has the project been abandoned as claimed by environmental authorities.
"We have finished 85 percent of the jobs required by the ministry," he said, criticizing a plan to hire a private company to secure the site. That work mostly entails dealing with contaminated water.
The Toronto Stock Exchange ordered the suspension of the trading of Petaquilla Minerals shares because it has failed to deliver financial statements since the first quarter of 2014.
It also faces complaints from shareholders that dividends were never paid, and claims by workers that they are owed two years back wages.