August 25, 2017 / 5:06 AM / a year ago

REFILE-Guatemala top court confirms suspension of Tahoe mining licenses

(In Aug 24 item, corrects spelling of source’s name)

GUATEMALA CITY, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Guatemala’s constitutional court confirmed on Thursday the provisional suspension of two mining licenses belonging to a local unit of Canadian miner Tahoe Resources Inc., two people involved in the case said.

The court is assessing whether the company consulted appropriately with indigenous communities, after an environmental organization argued that indigenous people in the region had not been consulted about the projects.

The mining licenses of the company’s Escobal unit, one of the world’s largest silver mines, as well as the smaller Juan Bosco unit have been suspended since July 5.

“We are sorry about the court’s decision,” said Andrés Dávila, a spokesman for San Rafael, Tahoe’s local unit. “We will continue exhausting all the legal avenues that Guatemalan law permits us.”

The parties will present their arguments before the court at a hearing scheduled for Aug. 28.

“We celebrate the decision, and we are ready for the (hearing),” said Quelvin Jiménez, a lawyer representing Parlamento Xinca, an indigenous group affected by the mines. (Reporting by Sofia Menchu; writing by Julia Love; editing by Richard Pullin)

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