Guatemala: Ratification of Mine Suspension

Following the ruling of the Constitutional Court, the Ministry of Energy and Mines decided to temporarily suspend the rights of the Fenix mining company, located in El Estor, department of Izabal.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

This case dates back years, since because of a legal appeal filed by a group of neighbors, who argued that the community consultation process for the operation of the mining project was not exhausted, in mid-July 2019 the magistrates of the Constitutional Court (CC) decided to suspend the mining right license of the Fenix mining company.

In June 2020, the Constitutional Court decided to keep the "Extraccion Minera Fenix" project suspended and ordered to carry out the community consultation process within 18 months.

After these two resolutions, the Ministry of Energy and Mines informed that it decided to temporarily suspend the exploitation license LEX-049-05 that had been approved by resolution 1,208 of April 17, 2006 for the Fenix Mining Right. The suspension became effective on February 17, 2021.

Alberto Pimentel, Minister of Energy and Mines, told Prensalibre.com that "... this decision was taken in compliance with the provisional resolution decreed by the Constitutional Court (CC) in July 2019 in which it suspended the license. The company that operates it, Compania Guatemalteca de Niquel (CGN), can make use of the legal resources it considers."

For David Orellana, CGN-PRONICO's Public Relations Manager, "... the 2019 resolution has no effect, since since January 9, 2019 the amparo was resolved in definitive in the first instance Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) so, 'we must be guided by the resolution of the definitive amparo of first instance, until the final judgment of appeal of definitive amparo of second instance is firm'."

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The Constitutional Court decided to keep the "Extracción Minera Fénix" project, located in the department of Izabal, suspended and ordered the community consultation process to be carried out within 18 months.

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