Two Tahoe Workers Killed in Ambush at Escobal Mine in Guatemala

Tahoe Resources Inc., the company developing the Escobal silver mine in Guatemala, said two security guards were killed in an ambush at the mine on Jan. 12.

Other Escobal security workers repelled the attackers, the Reno, Nevada-based company said in a statement today. The assault was one of three against mining entities in Guatemala this week, Tahoe said.

“In the last year, numerous businesses have been subjected to intimidation and violence from criminal elements intent on stopping development,” Tahoe said in the statement. “The Company thoroughly rejects the notion that these unprovoked violent acts are justified.”

Goldcorp Inc., the world’s second-largest gold company, is Tahoe’s largest shareholder with a 40 percent stake, according to a Dec. 23, 2010 filing.

Tahoe plans to produce 20 million ounces of silver a year from the mine, which is 70 kilometers (43.5 miles) southeast of Guatemala City, the company said. Tahoe remains on schedule to commission Escobal’s mill in the second half of this year and begin commercial production in early 2014.

Tahoe didn’t receive the final permit required for exploitation of the Escobal project as expected in 2012, the company said. “The Guatemalan President and the Minister of Energy and Mines have reassured us that the license is forthcoming,” Ron Clayton, Tahoe’s chief operating officer, said in the statement.

Barrick Gold Corp. is the world’s largest gold producer by market value.

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