The world’s second largest primary silver mine, Tahoe Resources Escobal Mine, was forced to shut down operations in Guatemala by a ruling from the country’s Supreme Court. This was due to a provisional decision by the Guatemalan Supreme court in respect of a request by CALAS, an anti-mining group, for an order to temporarily suspend the license to operate the Escobal Mine until there is a full hearing. (picture courtesy of Tahoe Resources)
While this story has been out for a few days, I believe there is a great deal of misinformation on the Mainstream and Alternative media about the current situation and future outcome of Tahoe’s flagship Escobal Mine. Some analysis suggests that this is just a small speed-bump for Tahoe, so when they are able to address disputed regulatory issues, production and profits will shortly return once again.
However, there also seems to be a another side to the story that could cause more problems for Tahoe with a much longer suspension time than the company is publicly stating. For example, the following was published in the article… Tahoe Resources forced to halt Escobal mine in Guatemala:
A Shutdown Of The Escobal Mine, Ranked #2 In The World, Would Remove 21 Million Oz Of SupplyAccording to the 2017 World Silver Survey, Tahoe Resources Escobal Mine ranked #2, behind Fresnillo PLC’s Saucito Mine in primary silver production in 2016. Here are the top five producing primary silver mines in 2016 (Moz – million ounces):
- Saucito (Mexico) = 21.9 Moz
- Escobal (Guatemala) = 21.2 Moz
- Dukat (Russia) = 19.8 Moz
- Cannington (Australia) = 18.2 Moz
- Uchucchacua (Peru) = 16.2 Moz
While this is not a great deal of silver compared to total world silver supply of 886 Moz (in 2016), if the Escobal Mine is shut for a longer period of time, or indefinitely, it could impact the silver market over the next few years.
Credit to srsroccoreport.com