Tahoe Resources has terminated 250 positions of the workforce of its subsidiary Minera San Rafael’s at the Escobal Mine in Guatemala.

The company’s decision came at a time when mining operations at Escobal were suspended from 5 July last year following a Supreme Court decision.

In October 2017, the Guatemalan Constitutional Court heard the appeal to reinstate the Escobal mining licence and it is yet to provide its judgment.

Tahoe Resources president and CEO Ron Clayton said: “Despite extensive efforts in Guatemala, we have been unsuccessful in reaching a favourable resolution that would avoid negative impacts for all stakeholders, especially for our workforce and the local economy.

“We are very disappointed to reduce our workforce at this time, but this is a natural consequence to the prolonged inaction in the legal system.

“We are very disappointed to reduce our workforce at this time, but this is a natural consequence to the prolonged inaction in the legal system.”

“We are hopeful that the Constitutional Court will honour their own legal procedures and precedents and urge them to provide a fair and transparent ruling quickly that demonstrates Guatemala remains open for responsible foreign investment.”

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Before the revocation of the licence, Minera San Rafael employed 1,030 people at the mine. Approximately 97% of these are Guatemalan and nearly half of them come from the Santa Rosa region.

The company also stated that a further reduction in the workforce can be avoided if the court reinstates the Escobal licence.

Tahoe added that it will again look to restore its workforce after the mine resumes production.

Located nearly 40km from Guatemala City, Escobal Mine is estimated to host proven and probable mineral reserves of 23.7 million tonnes, with an average silver grade of 351g/t containing 267.5 million ounces of silver, according to a January 2017 report.