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Guatemala court upholds gold mine suspension


BNAmericas.com | By Sam Williams - June 1, 2017

Guatemala's constitutional court upheld a suspension of activities at the Tambor gold project.

The court ruled that the energy and mines ministry (MEM) failed to consult with local communities in approving a permit for the project, breaching the rights of communities in La Puya village, Prensa Libre reported on its website.

The country's supreme court ordered that activities be suspended at Tambor in 2016, following a 2014 legal challenge by local social and environmental NGO CALAS, which said no consultation had been carried out by the ministry.

The project, also known as Progreso VII Derivada, is owned by Exmingua, a subsidiary of Kappes, Cassiday & Associates.

Progress at Tambor has long been hampered by protests. Local opposition is a key challenge to Guatemala's mining sector.

CALAS has also filed a claim against the MEM's approval of a mining license for Tahoe Resources' Escobal silver-lead-zinc mine.

The claim, seen by BNamericas, says the ministry failed to conduct prior consultations with indigenous people in the area, which the company denies.

Guatemala's courts are requiring companies to conduct retroactive consultations to meet rules under International Labor Organization Convention 169, which is undermining investor confidence in the country, the committee of agricultural, commercial, industrial and financial industries (CACIF) warned in January.


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