Panama has asked Canadian miner First Quantum Minerals (TSX: FM) to halt its Cobre Panama copper mine following a ruling by the Supreme Court that declared the mining contract for the operation unconstitutional. President Laurentino Cortizo took to social media late on Tuesday to announce his government had started “the transition process for the orderly and safe closure of the mine. The top court’s ruling capped six weeks of protests and official announcements over a contract that gave First Quantum 20 years of mining rights over the giant copper asset, with an option to extend the deal for another 20 years in return for $375 million in annual revenue to the Central American nation. Challenges against the contract piled up in court following massive protests against the contract, which almost paralyzed the country...

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