September 17, 2018 / 10:06 PM / 8 months ago

Tahoe Resources' Guatemalan unit announces new round of layoffs

FILE PHOTO: A general view shows the Escobal Silver Mine, mine unit of Tahoe Resources Inc., in the town of San Rafael las Flores, Guatemala August 14, 2017. REUTERS/Luis Echeverria/File Photo

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - The Guatemalan unit of U.S. miner Tahoe Resources Inc laid off an additional 169 workers on Monday, two weeks after the country’s top court kept in place a more than 14-month suspension of operations at the company’s Escobal silver mine.

The layoffs at Minera San Rafael, Tahoe’s local unit, now total 872 employees since the company’s property was forced to halt operations last year after a Guatemalan court suspended the licenses.

An environmental organization filed an appeal alleging that the country’s Ministry of Energy and Mines did not consult with the Xinca indigenous people before awarding the Escobal mining license to Tahoe.

Earlier this month, Guatemala’s Constitutional Court upheld the suspension of licenses at the Escobal mine, meaning Tahoe must return to the Xinca for consultations in order to try to regain its license.

“The uncertainty in which the (Constitutional Court) has maintained the case compels us to adapt,” Andres Davila, a spokesman for the mine, said in a statement.

Reno, Nevada-based Tahoe has argued that the mine is a key driver of growth in the local economy.

Reporting by Sofia Menchu; Writing by David Alire and Julia Love; Editing by Peter Cooney

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