Precious metals miner Tahoe Resources (TSX:THO)(NYSE:TAHO) had to temporarily halt operations at its La Arena gold mine in Peru following the trespassing of about 100 protesters demanding compensation for alleged environmental impacts of the operation.
The illegal action by the group, from a nearby community located about three km southwest of the mine, follows recent meetings between Tahoe and some La Ramada residents who requested payment for unnamed damages, allegedly caused by dust and vibrations from blasting at the mine, the company said.
Tahoe has filed charges of illegal trespass against leaders of the protest and, for the safety of its employees, contractors and members of the community, it suspended mining operations on Thursday night, ordering all workers to stay home. The company added that leaching activities were unaffected at this time.
The incident comes only two days after Tahoe said there had been an attempted robbery at the premises. The would-be thieves tried extracting gold from a pipeline by cutting holes in the top of it and placing bags of carbon inside to steal precious metal particles from the solution.
Instead, one of the bags blocked the pipe and it overflowed, sending solution into a collection pond from which clean water is discharged.
Tahoe reported the spill to the appropriate government agency, police, public prosecutors, and nearby communities. It said it was in the process of addressing the contamination of the storm water management system, but didn’t anticipate a material effect on production.
The miner reiterated it carries out permanent monitoring, which proves mine blasting complies with the law and environmental quality standards.
The company obtained the La Arena property in April 2015 as part of its acquisition of Rio Alto Mining. The open-pit mine has been in operation since 2011.