Canada's First Quantum says in talks with Panama over mine dispute

FILE PHOTO: Cobre Panama mine owned by First Quantum Minerals in Donoso

(Reuters) - Canada's First Quantum Minerals Ltd said on Tuesday it was in talks with the government of Panama to avoid halting operations at its mine in the Central American country over a contract dispute.

The company was notified on Dec. 21 of a government order for it to create a plan to halt operations at Cobre Panama within 10 working days after it missed a deadline for a new contract due to disagreements on royalties and tax payments.

First Quantum said its unit will deliver a plan to put the mine under "care and maintenance" for the government's review, but that operations at the mine continues as normal for now.

The company said it continues to engage with the Panama government to reach an agreement that is "fair and equitable to both parties."

First Quantum and its unit MPSA are prepared to agree with, and in part exceed, the objectives that the government outlined in January 2022 related to revenues, environmental protections and labour standards, the company said.

(Reporting by Ankit Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)