MAC/20: Mines and Communities

GUATEMALA

Published by MAC on 2006-10-05

GUATEMALA

More Mayans invade Skye's Guatemala nickel property

5th October 2006

GUATEMALA CITY, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Hundreds more Maya Indians joined squatters on the property of a Canadian nickel miner in Guatemala, expanding a protest to demand the firm cede land for subsistence farming, activists said on Thursday.

Skye Resources Inc. plans to reopen the long-dormant Fenix nickel project near Guatemala's Lake Izabal and begin producing 11,000 tonnes of ferro-nickel late in 2008.

But environmental concerns and disputes over land rights prompted hundreds of Mayan families living near the site to occupy several areas within the company's concession in mid-September.

Since then more people have moved into makeshift shelters on the property, with over 600 families or around 3,000 people hoping the company will give out land, according to local activists in the town of El Estor where the mine is located.

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