Published On: Sun, Aug 26th, 2018

Tahoe Resources cuts 200 more jobs at Escobal silver mine in Guatemala

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Tahoe Resources, a US-based precious metals producer, said that it has dismissed nearly 200 employees at its troubled Escobal silver mine in Guatemala where mining operations had been suspended for more than a year.

The Escobal silver mine, which is located in the Santa Rosa Department, and operated by Tahoe Resources’ Minera San Rafael, is currently facing legal hurdles resulting in the loss of about 450 jobs.

Earlier this year, Tahoe Resources dismissed 250 employees as a result of the suspension of the mining license of the Guatemalan silver mine in last July. The suspension came about following a provisional decision from the Guatemalan Supreme Court which ruled that the federal mining ministry did not carry out proper consultations with the Xinca indigenous people prior to granting of the mining license to the US precious metals producer.

Tahoe Resources subsequently appealed to the Guatemalan Constitutional Court against the supreme court ruling. The arguments regarding the mining license of the Escobal silver mine were heard by the constitutional court in late October 2017 and as per the Guatemalan laws, a ruling was due to be given inside five calendar days of the public hearing.

However, as of now, no ruling on the matter was given by the Constitutional Court and Tahoe Resources says that it has no idea when that will happen.

Tahoe Resources cuts 200 more jobs at Escobal silver mine in Guatemala

Tahoe Resources cuts 200 more jobs at Escobal silver mine in Guatemala. Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Owing to this, the precious metals producer has trimmed its workforce by nearly 70%. Prior to the license suspension, Minera San Rafael had over a thousand employees at the Escobal silver mine.

Tahoe Resources said that the delay in the court decision and the lack of transparency about the status of the legal proceedings in addition to its inability to put the Escobal silver mine back into production has led to the latest redundancies.

Commenting on the developments with the Escobal silver mine, Jim Voorhees -President and CEO of Tahoe Resources, said: “Despite extensive efforts in Guatemala, we have been unsuccessful in reaching a favorable resolution that would avoid negative impacts for all stakeholders, especially for our workforce and the local economy.

“We are extremely disappointed with the need for a further workforce reduction at this time, however this is a natural consequence to the prolonged inaction in the legal system. With that said, we remain committed to seeking a resolution and restarting the Escobal mine at the earliest possible time for the benefit of all of our stakeholders.”

Tahoe Resources expressed that it is optimistic about restarting operations at the Escobal silver mine shortly should it get a favorable ruling from the court and based on that will look to restore the sacked employees.

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