Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli announced Thursday there was oil in the Darien jungle and he planned to expand the mining industry in Panama while protecting the environment.
“Even if you don’t believe it, I am going to say something I shouldn’t say, Panama has oil in the Darien area, we are doing studies and have confirmed it, that the same veins from Colombia reach Panama,” the president said Tuesday.
Ricardo Martinelli discussed Panama’s potential energy resources in an address to the Annual Conference of Business Executives organized by the Panamanian Business Executives Association, or APEDE.
“Mining is important, it has a great future in Panama, there are many companies interested in investing in the country,” the president said.
The government will promote responsible mining and oil operations that “pay dividends to the state, respect the environment and have orderly development,” Martinelli said.
The president said he planned to visit an area Friday where residents gather oil that bubbles to the surface.
“I have to see it with my own eyes,” Martinelli said.