Staff Insights

Panama Ignites ESG-Friendly Gold Mining Revolution

Throughout the fall of 2023, what began as a few hundred protesters quickly swelled into tens of thousands. Panamanians took to the streets to voice their opposition against the government’s decision to award a controversial mining contract to the Canadian mining company, First Quantum Minerals Ltd. These protesters effectively brought the Central American nation to a standstill, blocking major highways and severely disrupting transportation. Bolstered by international ESG activist organizations and drawing inspiration from notable figures such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Greta Thunberg, this movement has sparked significant change not only within Panama but has also set in motion a global reevaluation of the mining industry’s practices.

Amidst the ensuing chaos, Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo, on October 27, 2023, announced sweeping new mining restrictions, declaring that Panama would reject all new mining projects. The legislation introduced an indefinite suspension on metal mining across the country. Furthermore, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry was instructed to “reject, outright, all new requests for concessions.” The law also mandated the refusal of existing requests for metal mining permits.

This decision by the government, while awaiting a Supreme Court judgment, was a monumental victory for the protesters. On November 28, 2023, the high court unanimously ruled that the mining contract with the Canadian company was unconstitutional. This ruling unleashed a wave of celebrations both within Panama and on the international stage, as the pro-ESG efforts of the protestors were recognized and rewarded.

A Catalyst for Regional and Global Change

The ESG-inspired activism in Panama is poised to have far-reaching effects beyond its borders. As the most developed nation in Central America, Panama’s resolute stance against mining operations has become symbolic of the broader Fifth Pachakuti era—an era characterized by a rising environmental and social consciousness.

The spirit of resistance has begun to spread to neighboring Central American countries, each confronting their own challenges associated with gold mining, including its dire environmental repercussions and the resultant social inequalities. Inspired by Panama’s triumph, these nations are rallying together, galvanized by the collective call for sustainable development over traditional gold extraction methods.

The movement extends even further south to countries like Colombia, where mining reforms reflecting anti-extraction sentiments are being introduced. These prioritize eco-tourism and the protection of natural habitats over conventional gold production. Notably, AngloGold Ashanti, a South African multinational and one of the world’s largest gold producers, faced a significant setback when Colombia’s environmental regulator, ANLA, rejected its application for an environmental license on May 2, 2022. This license was crucial for advancing the multi-billion-dollar gold-copper Quebradona project in Jericó, Antioquia, Colombia.

Redefining Gold Mining: The NatGold Approach

Rather than seeking funds to construct a mine and extract gold—a process becoming increasingly futile as seen most vividly in countries like Panama, where the permission for gold extraction is nearing extinction—we propose a different approach.

The International NatGold Council advocates for NatGold™, an innovative model that resurrects the ancient monetary potential of gold, via an ESG-friendly digital mining process to serve as a reliable store of wealth. This approach, aligned with modern values and environmental awareness, bypasses the need for physical extraction, thus avoiding the extensive environmental and social harm traditionally associated with mining operations.

The ESG-friendly pivot to NatGold mining from physical gold extraction echoes the wisdom Warren Buffet eloquently expressed: “Gold gets dug out of the ground in Africa, or someplace. Then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again, and pay people to stand around guarding it. … Anyone watching from Mars would be scratching their head.”

We concur with Mr. Buffet. In the era of digital assets and real-world tokenization, extracting gold, with its extensive environmental and social damage, not to mention the financial capital wastage, makes even less sense now than when he made that now-infamous statement. By leveraging the monetary value gold has offered for thousands of years, it becomes entirely unnecessary to physically extract the metal. Instead, we can use the intelligence mining financiers worldwide rely on.

At the core of the NatGold model are National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101) certified gold resource reports, prepared by qualified, independent geological auditors. These reports, essential for mining financiers globally, set a global standard, particularly for publicly traded mining companies listed on major North American stock exchanges like NASDAQ, NYSE, and Canada’s TSX. Although other international standards exist, such as JORC and SAMREC, NI 43-101 reports are unparalleled in their reliability and credibility, underscoring the Canadian standard as the global benchmark in gold resource certification.

The innovative NatGold mining approach not only harmoniously aligns with the planet’s ecological needs but also opens up new possibilities for accessing the world’s gold resources without the environmental and social costs of conventional extraction.

The Better Way Forward For Gold … NatGold

The Panama protests have sparked a domino effect across Latin America and indeed worldwide, prompting legislative and judicial actions that mark a pivotal moment for gold mining. As the world embraces sustainability and responsible resource management, NatGold emerges as a digital mining alternative that aligns with global ESG values, heralding a sustainable future for gold mining that respects both the planet and its people.

This movement transcends regional boundaries, embodying a global desire for a more responsible approach to resource utilization—one that preserves the integrity of the sky, the rain, and the land. In the words of Sir Paul McCartney, “There must be a better way to make the things we want, a way that doesn’t spoil the sky, or the rain or the land.” That way is NatGold.

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FAQs

What is a NI 43-101 certified gold resource report?2024-04-20T23:30:24+00:00

A NI 43-101 certified gold resource report is a comprehensive document independently prepared by “Qualified Persons” who serve as auditors of gold resource estimates, adhering to the standards set by the Canadian National Instrument 43-101 (Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects). This regulatory framework ensures that the public disclosure of scientific and technical information about the existence of gold resources is accurate, reliable, and follows consistent standards.

The report provides detailed information on a mineral project’s geology, exploration results, drilling data, and gold resource estimation. Specifically for gold, the report outlines the quantity, grade (quality), and other geological characteristics of the gold deposits within a project. It categorizes the resources into Measured, Indicated, and Inferred resources based on the level of geological certainty of the gold’s existence.

NI 43-101 certified gold resource reports are essential for investors and stakeholders in the mining industry, providing a trusted basis for investment decisions and ensuring transparency and accountability in public disclosures about mineral properties.

Why are NI 43-101 Technical Reports automatically accepted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under Regulation S-K 1300, whereas technical reports from other nations are not?2024-04-20T23:32:08+00:00

NI 43-101 Technical Reports are automatically accepted by the SEC under Regulation S-K 1300 due to their strict adherence to the regulation’s rigorous standards, which prioritize detailed, transparent, and reliable disclosures of mineral resources and reserves. These reports are developed by the Canadian Securities Administrators and set a high standard for the public disclosure of scientific and technical information concerning mineral projects. This includes stringent requirements for the qualifications and responsibilities of “Qualified Persons” who verify the reports, ensuring that the disclosed information is both accurate and verifiable.

In contrast, reports from other standards like JORC (Australia) or SAMREC (South Africa) might require additional reconciliation to align with S-K 1300. While these standards are internationally aligned to the CRIRSCO templates, which share common core definitions and guidelines with S-K 1300, they often have slight variations in definitions and reporting criteria. These differences mean that technical reports from these and other non-Canadian jurisdictions may need to demonstrate their compliance with S-K 1300’s specific requirements through detailed reconciliation, making them not automatically acceptable like NI 43-101 reports.

What is the NatGold Bilateral Bridge?2024-04-21T19:42:36+00:00

The NatGold Bilateral Bridge is a pivotal technological infrastructure within the NatGold ecosystem, designed by OroEx Corp. to connect the private ledger of the NatGold Digital Vault with the NatGold NatGold Multichain where NatGold coins are actively stored, distributed, and traded globally. This bridge plays a critical role by facilitating the seamless and secure transfer of NatGold coins from their post-tokenization crediting in the Digital Vault to their respective public blockchain addresses.

Essential to both operational oversight and regulatory compliance, the NatGold Bilateral Bridge utilizes advanced technologies such as smart contracts, APIs, and cryptographic security measures. These tools ensure that the transfers and tracking of NatGold coins are conducted securely and efficiently, thereby preserving the integrity and trustworthiness of the digital asset management system. This infrastructure not only supports the smooth functioning of the NatGold ecosystem but also enhances its capacity for strategic decision-making and regulatory adherence.

What is the NatGold Multichain?2024-04-21T19:44:31+00:00

The NatGold Multichain is an advanced blockchain architecture within the NatGold ecosystem, designed by OroEx Corp. to enhance the functionality and scalability of NatGold coins. It comprises a primary public blockchain and several interconnected sidechains or Layer 2 solutions.

Primary Public Blockchain: This is the main blockchain where NatGold coins are initially issued and managed. It records all primary transactions, smart contracts, and operations related to NatGold coins, serving as the foundational layer of the system.

Sidechains and Layer 2 Solutions: These are secondary frameworks connected to the main blockchain. They are specifically designed to increase transaction capacity and speed by processing transactions separately from the main chain. This helps alleviate bottlenecks and reduces transaction costs, making them more economical, especially for frequent or smaller transactions. Additionally, these sidechains allow for the testing and implementation of new blockchain technologies and protocols that may not be feasible on the primary blockchain.

Interoperability and Flexibility: A key feature of the NatGold Multichain is its emphasis on interoperability, which allows different blockchain networks within the ecosystem to communicate and interact seamlessly. This interoperability is crucial for broadening the usability and functionality of NatGold coins across various platforms and applications. It also offers users a greater flexibility in wallet choices, enabling them to select a wallet based on their preferred blockchain, considering factors such as security features, transaction costs, and user interface.

Cross-Chain Technology: Utilizing blockchain bridges and similar technologies, the NatGold Multichain facilitates the transfer of NatGold coins between the primary blockchain and other blockchains within the ecosystem. This ensures that NatGold coins maintain their value and functionality across different blockchain environments.

Practical Implications: For users, the NatGold Multichain structure enhances the overall experience by offering faster transactions and lower costs. It allows users to interact with NatGold coins in diverse environments and seamlessly return to the main blockchain when necessary. From a broader perspective, this architecture significantly increases the market reach and adoption of NatGold coins, enabling users on various blockchains to engage with and utilize NatGold coins without needing to switch to a new blockchain system.

Why do U.S. Patented Land Claims align with NatGold legislative policy, enabling them to qualify for NatGold tokenization?2024-04-21T13:15:45+00:00

U.S. Patented Land Claims align well with NatGold legislative policy primarily because they provide comprehensive ownership rights that include both surface and subsurface mineral rights. This dual ownership structure allows holders to fully control their property without the complications of ongoing fees or royalties that are common with traditional mining titles. Moreover, the associated costs, primarily property taxes, can be significantly reduced or even eliminated by severing the subsurface rights from the surface rights, thereby assigning the tax liability solely to the surface rights holder.

Additionally, these claims are perpetual and fully transferable, which are crucial attributes for the NatGold industry. The perpetual nature of these claims ensures that there are no expiry dates on the rights to the resources, aligning with NatGold’s requirement for a stable and lasting resource base. The ability to freely transfer these claims supports the continuity and integrity of title transfers, a fundamental requirement for tokenizing these assets within the NatGold ecosystem. Together, these features provide a stable foundation for the NatGold industry, facilitating the seamless integration of real-world gold resources into the digital economy.