Tahoe suspends Peru mine amid protests

The Tahoe Resources La Arena gold mine 480 km northwest of Lima, northern Peru. The La Arena II Project is adjacent to the mine. Source: Tahoe Resources Inc.

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The Tahoe Resources La Arena gold mine 480 km northwest of Lima, northern Peru. The La Arena II Project is adjacent to the mine. Source: Tahoe Resources Inc.

Tahoe Resources Inc. [THO-TSX, NYSE] said Friday it has suspended mining at its La Arena mine in Peru due to protests.

The company said a group ranging from between 80 to 100 people from the nearby community of La Ramada, located about three kilometres to the southeast of the La Arena mine, have illegally trespassed onto the property, disrupting mining operations and demanding payment for the alleged impacts of mining operations to their community.

Tahoe is an Americas-focused precious metals company. It operates the Escobal mine in Guatemala, the La Arena and Shahiundo gold mines in Peru and the Timmins West and Bell Creek gold mines in Canada.

The La Arena project consists of the currently operating La Arena Mine and La Arena 11 Project. Although the La Arena Mine and La Arena 11 project are situated on the La Arena property, which is owned by Tahoe, they are stand-alone projects and independent of each other. La Arena 11 would not be an expansion of the current operation. Rather it would be a separate operation constructed at the end of the La Arena Mine life.

The La Arena gold mine is located in northern Peru, 480 kilometres northwest of Lima.  Primary access to the property is via a 165 kilometre national highway from the coastal city of Trujillo. The closest population centre is the town of Huamachuco, located about 21 kilometres from the property, with a population of about 35,000 residents.

The company said the protest is in response to recent meetings the company has held with certain La Ramada residents who are demanding monetary compensation for the illegal impacts of dust and vibrations from blasting activities to their community.

“To ensure the safety of our employees, contractors and members of the community, the company has temporarily suspended mining operations, starting with the night shift on August 30, 2018, and ordered all workers to remain at home,” Tahoe said in a press release on Friday.

Leaching activities continue normally at this time, it said.

As a result of this illegal disruption, the company has filed formal charges against the protest leaders for illegal trespass. It has also notified the police, the Ministry of Energy and Mines, as well as the Consejo de Ministros, who have a social unit to support with conflict resolution.

The company said it continues to work toward a formal dialogue process with the support of government in an appropriate setting.

On Friday, Tahoe shares rose 1.98% or $0.085 to $4.62. The 52-week range is $4.51 and $8.50.

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