Canadian Mining Journal

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Protest: Tahoe Resources reports roadblock at Escobal


British Columbia — Vancouver-based Tahoe Resources has reported that a group of protesters near the town of Casillas in Guatemala has been blocking the road between its Escobal mine, near Minera San Rafael, and Guatemala City.

The company says the protests appear to relate to a variety of issues, including claims that mining at Escobal is causing seismic activity more than 20 km away in Casillas.

Tahoe reports that it’s working with the government, community leaders and others to resolve the situation peacefully and quickly.

Although shipments and supplies to and from the site have been delayed, the company does not expect any adjustments to its annual production or cost guidance as a result, and anticipates production and financial performance to be in line with mid-year expectations at the end of the second quarter.

Overview of the Escobal mine facing west, with San Rafael las Flores in background. Credit: Tahoe Resources

Overview of the Escobal mine facing west, with San Rafael las Flores in background. Credit: Tahoe Resources

Tahoe president and CEO Ron Clayton said in a release that the roadblock has not affected the company’s guidance for the year.

“Our operations are performing well and we anticipate that our performance at mid-year will be well within expectations relative to our guidance,” he said. “However, the delay affects our partner communities and former land owners as well as our employees and suppliers since royalties, wages and fees may be delayed as a result.”

In 2016, Escobal produced 21.2 million oz. of silver in concentrate. The underground mine began commercial production in early 2014.

Recently, the British Columbia Court of Appeal issued a ruling allowing Guatemalan citizens who claim they suffered damages during a protest at the mine site to pursue the claim in Canada’s court system.  Tahoe is appealing the ruling.

See Tahoe Resources’ website for more information: www.tahoeresources.com.