The latest Gallup survey of Panama revealed that 60% of Panamanians describe mining exploitation as unfavorable or very unfavorable and only
31% consider it to be favorable or very favorable. 9% answered “not knowing” on the subject.
Panamanians also maintain that within mining there is environmental damage, hidden businesses behind it, little income to the country and they do not generate enough jobs.
In this survey, 1,200 interviews were conducted between July 3 and 8. The questionnaire was applied face to face in the home of the person surveyed. The results have a 95% confidence level, with a margin of error of 2.8 points.
In Panama, a total of 199,112 hectares have been concessioned for mining projects, according to official figures from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Mici) updated until April 2021. Some 143,075 hectares correspond to concessions to extract non-metallic minerals, while 56,037 They are for the extraction of metals.
For the union leader, Eduardo Gil, the Panamanian population is clear that the benefits that the country receives are few compared to the disadvantages that remain from the exploitation of natural resources.
“The royalty percentage that the country receives (2%) is very low and does not affect economic dynamics and does not compare with the long-term damage that the government must face as a result of mining activity,” Gil said.
Other countries like Chile pay a 25% corporate tax, in addition to a 14% mining tax on their profits. In South Australia royalties reach 44.6%; in Mexico 41.6%; in Peru to 40.7% and to 40.1% in British Columbia (Canada).
Figures from the Comptroller’s Office details that in the first quarter of 2021, exports of copper ore and its concentrates were $ 806.2 million. While from January to December 2020 the figure was $ 1,065 .5 million 593 thousand dollars.
“Surveys are opinion studies subject to not reflecting the certainty of the results.”