Tahoe Resources (TAHO) (THO.to) has a problem.
First, the anti-mining anti-mining legal pressure group CALAS managed to use the Guatemala courtrooms to close down the El Tambor/La Puya mine owned by KCA. Now it’s after Tahoe Resources (THO.to) (TAHO) and its Escobal mine. This week CALAS submitted a formal petition to demand the immediate revocation of the Escobal mining permits (along with those of another mine, Sechol) to the country’s Ministry of Energy and Mining (MEM) because it says that its permits were illegally granted during the previous government of Otto Pérez Molina (who is now in jail due to the “La Linea” corruption scandal). It works like this:
- According to CALAS (translated), “Under article 50 of the Mining Law, the Ministry of Energy and Mines has the obligation to declare non-substantial any right of mining operation (i.e. permit) when it has been granted without fulfilling the established requirements in the Mining Law and its regulations”.
- In December 2015 The Constitutional Court of Guatemala ruled that the Escobal permit had been granted without fulfilling all requirements of the Mining Law. Specifically it stated that the MEM had “Violated the administrative procedure for the permitting of these mining projects” (i.e. Escobal and Sechol).
- Therefore yesterday CALAS submitted its formal demand to revoke the Sechol and Escobal mining licences. In this report in Guatemala’s national daily ‘La Hora’, its legal representative Rafael Maldonado said (translated), “With immediate effect, during the next month, we ask that the mining operations are halted”, and he added that if they weren’t shut down CALAS will take legal action against the Minister of Energy and Mining. Using a legal action against the minister in question is, for what it’s worth, the same strategy CALAS used in March 2016 to get the MEM to first suspend and finally annul the El Tambor/La Puya mining permits.
Escobal is of course the same mine where an employee was killed in a workplace accident in November, but instead of admitting the fatality TAHO decided to bury the story and not mention it to anyone anywhere.