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The chief executive officer of Canadian miner First Quantum Minerals FM-T met Panama’s Commerce and Industry Minister on Monday to discuss disagreements over the firm’s copper operations in the country, a person familiar with the matter said.

First Quantum CEO Tristan Pascall flew to Panama over Christmas to attend the meeting in person with the minister, Federico Alfaro, according to the source, who said further talks are planned.

The Commerce and Industry Ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

A spokesperson for First Quantum declined to comment.

The government and the mining company have been discussing a deal that would have increased annual tax payments to Panama to at least US$375-million.

The Panamanian government ordered the firm to halt operations at the Cobre Panama mine after they both missed a deadline to reach an agreement.

The firm started arbitration proceedings against the government days after, according to local authorities.

A government official said last week the country was looking for a “fair” deal.

The mine accounts for roughly 3.5 per cent of Panama’s gross domestic product, according to government figures.

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