Three non-profit firms have filed complaints with the British Columbia Securities Commission accusing the companies of hiding key risks
Less than a week before Pan American Silver Corp. shareholders vote on a US$1.1 billion acquisition of Tahoe Resources Inc., three non-profit firms have filed complaints with the British Columbia Securities Commission accusing the companies of hiding key risks.
The complaints say the companies are overly optimistic in their timeline for the reopening of Tahoe’s flagship Escobal mine in Guatemala and failed to disclose all conflicts with the local community around that mine.
Shin Imai, a director of the Justice and Corporate Accountability Project at Osgoode Hall Law School, who drafted the complaints and has a track record of accurately predicting when conflict will flare up at Escobal, said the case ties into a broader effort to improve mining companies’ disclosures about their community relations.
“This Tahoe case is just a classic example that shows that if you don’t have a social licence and you don’t disclose that, then investors get screwed,” said Imai.
He said his clients in the case — the Maritimes-Guatemala-based Breaking the Silence Network, Washington, D.C.-based Earthworks, and Ottawa-based MiningWatch Canada sent employees to visit the Escobal site, or live in Guatemala and thus understand the state of affairs on the ground at the mine.