Vancouver mining CEO convicted on environmental charges – by Jeremy Hainsworth (Business In Vancouver – July 12, 2023)

A Vancouver mining company president has been found guilty in a Prince Rupert Provincial Court retrial of multiple counts of environmental pollution at a B.C. mine. The charges relate to discharges of zinc and other waste contrary to Banks Island Gold’s (BIG) permit for the Yellow Giant Mine site on Banks Island, B.C., between Sept. 9, 2014, and July 31, 2015. The island is just south of Prince Rupert on Hecate Strait.

“A systemic failure resulted in various exceedances in the water samples,” Judge David Patterson said in his July 7 decision. “BIG should have had a fool-proof system, regardless of which BIG department was responsible for the testing.” Patterson said company president Benjamin Mossman was the person responsible.

“The BC Prosecution Service does not need to prove that Mossman directed, permitted, or authorized any single discharge containing metal levels over the prescribed limits as particularized in each relevant charge,” the judge said. “The failure to have a fool-proof system in place led to the exceedances. To quote an old adage: ‘The buck stops at the top.’”

Business in Vancouver reported in August 2015 that the mine was ordered to shut down for unauthorized discharges of effluent from its mine site that resulted from flooding. An inspection by the Ministry of Energy and Mines also found a number of permit violations, including the processing of ore from an unpermitted mine site.

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