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Friday, May 24 2019 @ 01:45 PM UTC

ANAM Urged To Return "Donation" To Pay For EIA Evaluation

Gold & MiningThe Minister of Trade and Industry, Roberto Henriquez acknowledged that it "looks wrong" for a mining company to donate money to the Panamanian National Environmental Authority to pay for the evaluation of their Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the operation of a mining project in the Donoso district.

"I do not agree with that and it looks bad, so my recommendation for the ANAM to return the money and to see how the government can provide the funds for the assessment to be made," he told TVN Channel 2. Henriquez acknowledged the donation generates suspicion, "precisely the last thing we want on this issue."

He said what he wants is for mining issues to be handled with transparency, and as proof of this he personally called on President Ricardo Martinelli to ask that changes being made in the Mining Code should not be discussed in Special Sessions of the National Assembly, and they should wait until January. He also noted that the institutions that regulate the mining industry are being changed to accommodate the growth in the industry in Panama, which is why they recently renovated the laboratory, they are moving the administration section to a new facility in Plaza Edison, they are also hiring more geologists, supervisors and lawyers, in actions that will more than double their staff. (Panama America)

Editor's Comment: Whoops. Sometimes it can be tempting for business managers to want to try to find ways to "speed up the process" of getting their paperwork through the Panamanian bureaucracy. However for a mining company to donate money to the agency charged with protecting the environment was a bone-headed move. The government of Panama stands to make literally billions of dollars from the successful exploitation of this mine - one would think they could pull their collective heads out of their bureaucratic assess long enough to conduct the evaluation of an Environmental Impact Assessment, right? This is another example of a self inflicted wound, completely unnecessary, and dumb.

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