IGF Mining Policy Framework Assessment: Panama

This assessment report examines Panama's mining policy framework specifically concerning six important focus areas and makes recommendations for policy reform and improvement.

By Marina Ruete, Alejandro Vio Grossi on December 22, 2020

Panama's mining sector is small but holds significant potential for growth. With a world-class copper mine beginning operation in 2019, the sector is expected to soon account for 6% of the county'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.

The government requested a Mining Policy Framework assessment from Intergovernmental Forum in Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) to help authorities manage potential mining developments in accordance with international best practices and with a focus on achieving Panama’s sustainable development objectives.

To inform this report, the assessment 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, aboriginal communities, international organizations, and the private sector.

This report presents Panama's economic, legal, and mining contexts and highlights strengths and gaps in the country's mining laws, policies, and regulations across six thematic areas: legal and policy environment, financial benefit optimization, socioeconomic benefit optimization, environmental management, post-mining transition, and artisanal and small-scale mining. Finally, the report includes specific recommendations for policy reform.

Report details