Tahoe Resources to restart Escobal mine in Guatemala


Tahoe Resources has secured clearance from the Guatemalan Supreme Court to resume operations at Escobal mine.

The mining licence at the site operated by Tahoe’s subsidiary Minera San Rafael (MSR) was suspended after anti-mining organisation CALAS petitioned the court against Guatemala’s Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM). 

CALAS accused MEM of violating the Xinca indigenous people’s right of consultation before awarding the licence to MSR.

Tahoe Resources president and CEO Ron Clayton said: "We are pleased that the Supreme Court of Guatemala has abided by legal precedent and restored MSR’s licence to operate the Escobal mine. 

"While we support the rights of all peoples to peacefully protest, we do not support the illegal blockage of public highway by non-locals, which has had a devastating economic impact on our employees, contractors, and communities. 

"While we support the rights of all peoples to peacefully protest, we do not support the illegal blockage of public highway by non-locals."

"Once the road is re-opened at Casillas, we will resume full operations without disruption and put our valued employees and vendors back to work, support the economy of our local communities and return value to our shareholders.”

The Supreme Court ordered MEM to initiate a consultation in accordance with ILO Convention 169 and engage with the Xinca indigenous communities within a certain geographic area.

MEM is mandated to submit a report on the consultation process to the court within 12 months.

Although the court’s ruling clears the hurdles for the company’s resumption of operations at the mine, the blockade at Casillas does not allow it to do so. 

The company is negotiating with various stakeholders in an effort to restart operations at the mine within a week.