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28 May 2021


Guatemala: At the first pre-consultation meeting of the Pan American Silver Escobal mining project, agreements on cultural and spiritual impacts are signed

“Four agreements signed at first pre-consultation for Pan American Silver’s Escobal mine”, 23 May 2021

...Guatemala’s Ministry of Energy and Mining, the Xinka People Parliament, Pan American Silver Guatemala (TSX: PAAS) and other interested parties signed four agreements during the first pre-consultation meeting related to the Escobal mine. Escobal is the world’s third-largest silver mine with a production potential of 20 million ounces per year. It has, however, been shut since July 2017 after a court suspended its license over allegations that community consultations had not been carried out by former owner Tahoe Resources, who sold the mine to Pan American Silver in 2019. The Constitutional Court’s ruling ordered the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) to carry out an immediate consultation of the local indigenous population, the Xinka communities…[T]he consultations were announced in April 2021...In this session, it was agreed that independent investigator and social anthropologist Claudia Dary should be in charge of leading the team that will carry out a study on the cultural and spiritual impact of Escobal on the Xinka. Participants also agreed that the MEM should provide a list of the relevant institutions that are able to provide accurate information to the Xinka Parliament...The Ministry has also been asked to provide the Xinka Parliament with a list of suitable advisers who can independently analyze the data that emerge from the cultural and spiritual impact assessment. The final agreement relates to the next meeting, which is to be held on June 20, 2021, at the headquarters of the Xinka Parliament...Pan American Silver, on the other hand, issued a statement saying that the company respects the right of the Xinka people to be consulted and that management hopes that this process turns out to be inclusive under Covenant 169 of the International Labour Organization...