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Civil society groups file complaints asking for investigation of Pan American & Tahoe Resources related to alleged violations of indigenous rights

Author: Gabriel Friedman, Financial Post, Published on: 3 January 2019

"Days before merger, complaints filed asking for investigation of Pan American and Tahoe Resources," 3 Jan 2019

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... Shin Imai, a director of the Justice and Corporate Accountability Project at Osgoode Hall Law School, who drafted the complaints... [said] “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.”

... In May 2017, Imai filed his first complaint with the BCSC asking for an investigation of Tahoe — as he is doing again now — for failing to disclose its conflicts with the local Xinka community near the Escobal mine. Two months after that initial complaint was filed, in July 2017, a Guatemalan court ordered the mine closed because of a lack of consultation with the local Xinka community. That court decision was upheld in September by Guatemala’s Constitutional Court... In a statement, Pan American said it believed the issues relating to the Escobal mine have been well-documented in its own filings and past filings by Tahoe, and also that it believes consulting Indigneous communities is important... “We look forward to peacefully engaging with these stakeholders in good faith and to the opportunity to address any concerns,” the statement read in part. “We have been clear that this process will take time and we have never set a timeline for the restart of the Escobal mine.”

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