Mine sediments flow toward a lake from the Yellow Giant Gold Mine on Banks Island. This photo was taken in June 2015 by former mine safety manager Brent Edmunds. (Submitted photo)

Court assesses $15,000 penalty in Banks Island Mine case

Gitxaała Nation calls the ruling a slap in the face

Leadership with the Gitxaała Nation are not happy with the latest developments in the Banks Island Gold. Ltd case.

On Dec. 6, 2018, the mining company’s CEO, Benjamin Mossman, was given a $15,000 penalty after being found guilty of one Fisheries Act violation and one Environmental Management Act violation.

READ MORE: More witnesses testify on Bank Island environmental mess

Clifford White, chief of Gitxaała Nation, said he was disappointed with the small penalty, calling it a “slap in the face” considering the scope of environmental damage allegedly caused by the mining company.

“The communities are left to deal with the after effects of the damages,” White said. “This is why people get upset when a business comes in and there’s damage done to the environment. This is case and point.”

The company faced 35 total provincial and federal charges after Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers found evidence that the company was dumping waste from its Yellow Giant gold mine into the surrounding woods and wetland area approximately 110 kilometres south of Prince Rupert in 2015.

Further, Mossman did not report the spills to any regulatory body or fisheries officer.

The mine was shut down in 2015 and the Ministry of Energy and Mines confiscated the company’s $420,000 security deposit to clean the polluted site.

But White estimated the total cost of the cleanup is will be approximately $1.6 million.

“$15,000 is crumbs in comparison to what needs to be done,” he said. “Who’s going to cover the rest of the money?”

In an emailed statement, Gitxaała Environmental Monitoring (GEM) environmental assessment coordinator Samantha Wagner said that the GEM office will be closely following the sentence’s appeal.

Neither Mossman nor Banks Island Gold Ltd. representatives could be reached for comment by deadline.

READ MORE: Witnesses testify in court on Banks Island Mine disaster

To report a typo, email: editor@thenorthernview.com.


Matthew Allen | Reporter
Matthew Allen 
Send Matthew an email.
Like the The Northern View on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

CityWest mistakenly overcharging customers on PST since 2013

Prince Rupert’s telecommunications company sent out notices to residents informing them of the error

Master students in Prince Rupert share their findings for a more sustainable city

Students with Ecotrust Canada’s North Coast Innovation Lab showcase their work at Lester Centre

Wind project between Haida Gwaii and Prince Rupert moves forward once more

Naikun Wind Energy Group announced partnership with major offshore wind development company

Disaster in store for Prince Rupert, announces Lester Centre of the Arts

Auditions set to take place at the end of October

Exhibit travelling from Quebec to Prince Rupert

The Museum of Northern British Columbia received $9,400 in funding

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

The Northern View announces inaugural Tyee Fishing Derby in Prince Rupert

More than $7,000 up for grabs for biggest legal salmon and halibut

The Northern View 2019 Readers Choice

It’s that time of year again! Vote online or at the Prince Rupert office before noon on Aug. 30

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Most Read