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Firestone not concerned by Guatemalan mining motion

Keywords: Tags  Firestone Ventures, Otto Perez Molina, Pamela Strand, Guatemala, mining licence, mining moratorium, lead, zinc silver

NEW YORK — A proposed moratorium on new mining licenses by the Guatemalan government "will not affect any exploration or reconnaissance" activities at Firestone Ventures Inc., the company said.

Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina recently said that his government would present a bill to Congress authorizing a moratorium on new mining licenses, during which time the government would consider new mining laws (, July 11).

Firestone, which owns a number of properties in the nation’s zinc-lead-silver mining belt, doesn’t anticipate being affected by the move, Pamela Strand, president of the Edmonton, Alberta-based company, told AMM.

"We’ve been active in Guatemala through three presidential administrations, and this potential moratorium is only temporary. ... It’s the position of the ministry (of energy and mines in Guatemala) that they’ll comply with existing laws for now, so it will not affect exploration or reconnaissance work for us," she said.

"That being said, there are always risks in every jurisdiction. I don’t completely understand their logic. A lot of the exploitation licenses issued in the last few months have received no opposition from local communities, and we certainly have a community that is very supportive of our project," Strand added.

The company is working toward an environmental impact assessment for its Torlon Hill project, for which it has already obtained an exploitation license, Strand said.

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