Canada’s Tahoe Resources (TSX:THO)(NYSE:TAHO) is laying off 250 employees, or roughly a quarter of the staff from its flagship Escobal silver mine, in Guatemala, as a legal battle to having the mining license for the site reinstated drags on.
The Vancouver-based company had to halt operations at the mine last July after the country’s Supreme Court provisionally ordered so following an appeal from environment and human rights organization CALAS. The group alleged the Ministry of Energy and Mines had not consulted with the Xinca indigenous people before awarding the license to Tahoe’s local unit, Minera San Rafael.
Tahoe says the Guatemalan Constitutional Court heard appeals of the Supreme Court’s decision to reinstate the Escobal mining license on Oct. 25, but has not issued a verdict of its own despite being required to do so within five days of the public hearing.
Originally, Tahoe was prepared to face a three-month mine suspension, period during which 5.1 million ounces of silver production were expected to be deferred, and about $10 million lost.
But after six months of waiting, the company had to take cost-cutting measures and warned it may have to lay off even more people down the road.