Katanga Mining Ltd., its chief executive and six former insiders admitted they broke Canadian securities laws and have agreed to pay $34.4-million in penalties in a settlement with regulators that centred on “materially misleading” financial disclosures.
The Ontario Securities Commission fined Katanga CEO Johnny Blizzard $400,000 on Tuesday and banned him from serving as an officer or director with a Canadian-listed company for two years. Mr. Blizzard, who has been CEO since February, 2015, has agreed to step down from the company within 30 days.
The OSC levied the largest individual fine on Aristotelis Mistakidis, who will pay $2.45-million and is subject to an officer and director ban for four years. Mr. Mistakidis was a director with Katanga until late last year and is the outgoing head of Glencore PLC’s copper unit.
Five other former officers or directors with Katanga agreed to pay fines ranging from $350,000 to $950,000 and serve various director and officer bans.
Switzerland-based Katanga owns copper and cobalt operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is 86-per-cent owned by Anglo-Swiss metals and mining conglomerate Glencore PLC. In November, 2017, Katanga disclosed that the OSC was investigating the company’s accounting practices and, on Monday, the securities watchdog brought formal allegations against the company.