Tahoe Resources stock fell more than 20 per cent to a multi-year low on Tuesday after it announced the licence for its Escobal silver mine in Guatemala will remain suspended following a ruling by the country’s constitutional court.
The Vancouver-based company’s stock hit an intraday low of $3.37 in the first half hour of trading Tuesday, the lowest level in five years. As of 10:30, the stock was down $1 or 22 per cent at $3.49.
Tahoe Resources says Guatemala’s constitutional court reversed a Supreme Court decision that had re-instated the licences, which were suspended by the government’s Ministry of Energy and Mines.
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The company says it doesn’t have a timeline for the consultation but said the ministry completed a similar process within six months.
The company has already dismissed about 70 per cent of the employees of its Minera San Rafael subsidiary, which runs the mine, including an additional 200 announced Aug. 20.
Prior to the licence suspension in October 2017, San Rafael employed 1,030 people.
The Escobal mine has been the focus of a number of court challenges and community clashes, including an Aug. 24 abduction of about a dozen of unarmed security workers who were held several hours before being released to police.
Tahoe said the abductors identified themselves as the “Peaceful Resistance Group of Mataquescuintla” — a group that had also created a blockade and inspection point earlier in August on a public road near the mine.