“The Government of Panama is committed, through its presidential goals, to strengthening governance in the mining sector,” says H.E. Ramón Martínez, Panama’s Minister of Commerce and Industry. “The MPF assessment report will be the basis for our improvement efforts in mining-related institutions.”
The IGF’s report offers specific policy recommendations to help the country leverage its mining sector for sustainable development and is now available in English and Spanish.
“Panama is very well placed to succeed,” says the IGF’s assessment team leader Marina Ruete. “The government is well aware of the challenges for mining in a country where protecting biodiversity is paramount.”
With a world-class copper mine that began producing in 2019, the government expects mining to soon make up 6% of Panama’s GDP. Mining has the potential to become the country’s second-largest economic sector, after the Panama Canal, and fund sustainable development initiatives throughout the country.
“Panama wants to establish high environmental and social performance standards to prepare for any future growth in the sector,” Ruete says.
Panama faces significant governance challenges related to large-scale operations, as well as informal artisanal and small-scale mining. Like many countries with a young mining sector, the challenges are intensified by a lack of mining-specific expertise in the country.
The government requested the IGF assessment to help identify policy gaps and ensure that Panama’s laws reflect international best practices, with a focus on achieving the country’s sustainable development objectives. In conducting the assessment, the IGF’s team carried out extensive desk-based research and an in-country mission to visit large- and small-scale mines and meet with numerous stakeholders from government, civil society, Indigenous communities, international organizations, and the private sector.
Read the full report in English