Less Legal Uncertainty, For Now

At last the Constitutional Court of Guatemala has spoken about the operation of Minera San Rafael, which has been paralyzed for more than a year, ordering a community consultation as a requirement to resume operations.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The project has been halted since mid-2017, when the environmental organization Calas filed an application for a declaration of fundamental rights against the mine, arguing that the Ministry of Energy and Mines had not carried out the community consultations before authorizing the operation licenses. 

After more than 300 days awaiting a decision by the authorities, yesterday the Constitutional Court finally expressed its views, ordering a community consultation to be carried out, through the Ministry of Energy and Mines, in the area of operations of the mine, in El Escobal, in the municipality of San Rafael Las Flores, department of Santa Rosa.

See the Court's full resolution. (In Spanish)

Through a statement, the company Minera San Rafael explained that " ...'After 313 days without the CC issuing a resolution regarding the case of Minera San Rafael, the aforementioned court ruled today that the company may resume operations once the Ministry of Energy and Mines conducts a consultation according to the Convention 169 of the Organization of the Work which must start immediately'."

The document adds that " ... they are respectful of all legal processes, therefore they will wait for the official notification to perform a legal technical analysis that allows them to establish the steps to be followed in this phase of the process."

See: "The high cost of legal insecurity" and other articles that summarize the history of this case. 

More on this topic

Uncertain Outlook for Mining Project

September 2018

Following the Guatemalan Constitutional Court's order of a community consultation as a requirement to resume operations at the San Rafael Mine, the company is now claiming that the timelines for the process are not clear.

Given the doubts that exist about the term that the government has to complete the process of community consultation, the mining company has decided to make another staff cut, given that it is unknown how long it will be before they can resume mining operations, which were halted on July 3, 2017.

Process to Resume Mining Operation Begins

September 2018

Following the order to hold community consultations as a requirement for resuming operations at the San Rafael Mine in Guatemala, the authorities are waiting for the ruling to be be made firm in order to start a pre-consultation process.

After more than 300 days of waiting for a decision from the authorities, as a result of an appeal for legal protection filed by the environmental organization Calas, the Constitutional Court (CC) last week ordered a community consultation to be carried out, through the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM), into the operations area of the mine, in El Escobal, in the municipality of San Rafael Las Flores, department of Santa Rosa.

Mining Company Still Not Operating

August 2018

In Guatemala, the company Minera San Rafael, whose operations remain paralyzed pending a final decision by the Constitutional Court, announced the dismissal of another 200 employees.

The delay on the part of Constitutional Court of Guatemala continues to take its toll on the mining company, which has been unable to operate for more than 400 days.

Another Mining Company Suspended in Guatemala

July 2017

Minera San Rafael will have to cease operations after its two operating licenses were suspended as a result of a writ of protection granted by the Supreme Court of Justice to an environmental group.

Prensalibre.com reports that "... The licenses for El Escobal, approved in 2013, and Juan Bosco, in 2012, are suspended and as a consequence, the San Rafael mine must stop its operations. The extraction plants whose licenses are now invalid are located in Mataquescuintla, Jalapa, and Nueva Santa Rosa, Casillas, and San Rafael Las Flores, Santa Rosa."

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