Goldcorp weighs investment in Guatemala after royalty hike plan

Wed Dec 3, 2014 12:12pm EST
 
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VANCOUVER Dec 3 (Reuters) - Canadian gold miner Goldcorp Inc said on Wednesday it will examine its future investment in Guatemala following the country's move to raise mining royalties from 1 percent to 10 percent.

Late last week, Guatemala's Congress changed a nearly 20-year-old mining law to raise the royalties. Proposals to increase the levy had failed in previous years, and such a steep increase had seemed unlikely.

Guatemalan President Otto Perez has yet to sign the measure into law, but the country's main industrial chamber has already said it is mulling a legal challenge.

Goldcorp, which operates the Marlin mine, the country's largest, said it would have to look at its future investment in Guatemala as a result of the new measures.

"In light of the proposed royalty increase, we will need to revisit our future investment plans in the country in order to ensure that we can generate the best returns for our shareholders," Goldcorp spokeswoman Christine Marks said in an emailed statement.

Marks added that the Marlin mine, which is expected to produce up to 185,000 ounces of gold this year, is nearing the end of its life, and thus the new measures would have "limited impact on Goldcorp's overall financials." (Reporting by Nicole Mordant; Writing by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)