Engineering & Mining Journal

OCT 2018

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REGIONAL NEWS - LATIN AMERICA OCTOBER 2018 • E&MJ 15 www.e-mj.com company and we see that our future is even more promising," he said. The executive explained that, outside Chile, they are in an exciting period with the new Cerro Moro mine in Argentina. "With the completion of the construc- tion phase at Cerro Moro and, along with the strong operational performance in our global operations, we are transitioning to a phase of cash flow generation," Guzman explained. The company will continue investing in exploration and projects to generate solid returns, but their priority is to opti- mize and improve the existing operations, including Chilean operations, where they believe there is still a lot of potential. Tahoe Deals With Local Issues in Latin America As tension rises in Guatemala, Tahoe Resources still has no resolution for the mining permit for the Escobal mine. The company said the country's Constitution- al Court held a press conference recently to explain why it reversed the Supreme Court's decision to reinstate the Escobal mining license for Tahoe's Guatemalan subsidiary, Minera San Rafael (MSR). The Escobal license will remain suspend- ed until the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) completes the ILO 169 consulta- tion with the Xinka, which could take as long as 6 months. A few days after Tahoe announced it would lay off an additional 200 miners at the operation, a dozen unarmed MSR security contract workers were attacked, kidnapped and held at gunpoint by the "Peaceful Resistance Group of Mataques- cuintla." The contractors were eventually released and escorted by the Guatemalan national police back to Jalapa where they were treated for their injuries. This group had previously installed an illegal block- ade on a public road at the entrance of Mataquescuintla, which is about 5 km away from the Escobal mine. The block- ade was stopping all vehicles on the route to be "inspected." Jim Voorhees, president and CEO of Tahoe, expressed sympathy and concern for the families of the abducted contrac- tors. "Tahoe condemns violence of any kind in the strongest possible terms," Voorhees said. "We are treating these de- velopments with the utmost seriousness and we are taking appropriate measures to ensure the safety and security of all of our employees and contractors, their fam- ilies, and local community members." Nearly 10 months have passed and the Guatemalan Constitutional Court has not issued a final decision, leaving the Es- cobal license in limbo. During this time, various violent actions have been carried out, not only against MSR workers and contractors, but also against residents and community members. The lack of le- gal certainty, according to the company, has allowed these attacks to occur more often where, on repeated occasions, there have been reported attacks on supplier vehicles and helicopters, threats to local community members and their families and even other kidnapping attempts. Meanwhile in Peru, Tahoe reported that a group of as many as 100 people A protest at Tahoe's La Arena mine (above) in Peru suspends operations momentarily. (Continued on p. 29) STOCKPILE www.kpijci.com

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