Tahoe Resources To Appeal Confinement Of Employee By A Lower Court In Guatemala
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 14, 2015 /CNW/ — Tahoe Resources Inc. (TSX: THO, NYSE: TAHO) reports today that its wholly-owned subsidiary in Guatemala, Minera San Rafael (MSR), will appeal the court-ordered confinement of an MSR employee pending the investigation of a 2012 environmental claim. Despite inaccurate press reports to the contrary, the employee is not Escobal’s mine manager. The employee is in charge of regulatory issues, works with environmental regulators and was designated as the legal representative in this matter three years ago.
Yesterday, a lower court in the town of Cuilapa ordered the public prosecutor’s office to investigate the alleged discharge of water into the Escobal creek in April 2012, during the construction phase of the Escobal mine. A local anti-mining NGO, CALAS, initiated the claim against MSR in early 2012. Conducted by the independent laboratory, ACZ Laboratories, Inc., water sample analysis taken since 2010, judged by any objective standard, has consistently demonstrated that discharges from the Escobal mine have met regulatory standards, with no adverse impact to the local environment. MSR will appeal the court’s ruling relating to the employee’s confinement tomorrow. As is customary in cases of this type, the public prosecutor’s office requested the company’s legal representative be released on his own recognizance pending its investigation, but, in an unexpected move, the lower court granted CALAS’s demand that he be sent to jail.
“We are concerned for our valued employee and believe that the court overreached its authority in confining him while this environmental claim is being investigated. We expect the court of appeal to right this wrong and overturn the lower court’s order and release our employee expeditiously,” said Tahoe CEO, Alex Black. “The Escobal mine has been constructed to the highest environmental standards, either meeting or exceeding Guatemalan environmental laws. Environmental stewardship is a central pillar of our business and we continue to work closely with Guatemalan regulators to ensure our operation is clean, safe and responsible, especially in the context of local water sources. We feel confident the local authorities, through this investigation, will conclude the same,” added Mr. Black.