VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 07/10/13 -- Tahoe Resources Inc. (TSX: THO) (NYSE: TAHO) reports Guatemala President Otto Perez Molina announced during his weekly television address Tuesday evening, that in an effort to promote consensus in congress and to advance support for mining in Guatemala, he will ask congress to approve a two-year temporary moratorium on the granting of new mining and exploration licenses.
Based on discussions with government officials, Tahoe believe the pause in permitting will allow the Energy and Mines Ministry and congress to focus on revisions to the mining law that were proposed earlier this year. President Perez Molina and mining minister Erick Archila have assured Tahoe that this action will in no way affect the exploitation license that the government granted earlier this year for the Escobal project.
The president's weekly television show was taped at the Tahoe's Escobal project during the president's visit on Monday, July 8, 2013. In a very positive atmosphere, he met with mine employees and their families following a tour of the project.
Tahoe holds licenses on 158 square kilometres, including 20 square kilometres of which are held on the Escobal project. None of these licenses will be affected by the proposed action. A number of reconnaissance and exploration licenses remain pending, and this change is not expected to impact the company's priority rights to these licenses in the future.
Tahoe President and CEO Kevin McArthur said, "Mine construction is going extremely well and preliminary commissioning activities are underway. While we are disappointed with the potential effects to our regional exploration programs, Tahoe will continue to work with the Guatemalan government to amend the mining law, ensuring a profitable mining industry and continued economic prosperity in the country.
"While most of our prospective ground is in areas where we hold approved licenses, we will have to pull back on some of our regional work for a period of time," added Mr. McArthur.
The Escobal project has provided over 600 full-time, high-paying local jobs. The trickle-down effect from both the mine and construction activities has created very positive impacts in the local and regional communities including the start-up of over 100 new businesses.
President Perez Molina lifted the regional state of emergency in the departments of Santa Rosa and Jalapa in June and established a much needed permanent police force in San Rafael Las Flores, the community closest to Escobal. The residents of the San Rafael communities have seen significantly decreased tension since that time, as outside interference has diminished.
Since receiving the final permit for the Escobal project in April, the Company has committed to enhance and strengthen its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs. A new voluntary royalty (now totaling 5% NSR) was implemented in April 2013, so that outlying communities seeing socioeconomic impacts from the operation will receive funds in order to manage local issues. Multiple community projects are underway or in planning, and the Company has designated a 100 million quetzal (approximately USD$12.5 million) fund to be initiated this year and to be distributed over the next three years to a specific charitable project. In addition, the Company has engaged the non-profit organization BSR to help guide Tahoe's CSR and human rights programs in Guatemala and at the corporate level.
Most Popular Stories
- Accenture Gets 8 Percent Bump in Q1
- Texting With Vodka: Booze and Social Media Can Mix After All
- Lockheed Martin Ends Gifts to Boy Scouts Over Gay Ban
- Stripped-Down Defense Bill Creates Winners, Losers
- Debt Ceiling Looms Again as Deadline Approaches
- Menendez Pushes for Iran Sanctions
- Deportation Threat Looms Larger Than Citizenship Among Hispanics
- How to Protect Yourself After Target Data Breach
- Mazda Leads the Pack for Fuel Efficiency
- Senate Nears Approval of Defense Bill