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. (Brent Edmunds photo)

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. (Brent Edmunds photo)

Ex-CEO of Banks Island Gold Mine acquitted of obstruction charge

Prince Rupert judge said he cannot be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt

Former CEO of the now-bankrupt Banks Island Gold Mine, Benjamin Mossman, has been acquitted of one of his charges.

On March 6, Judge Herman Seidemann delivered his judgment in the Prince Rupert courthouse.

“I cannot be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Flynn [the mines inspector] was obstructed,” said Seidemann in the courtroom. “Mr. Mossman’s reply [to the mines inspector] is responsive and true… The fact is, he was not asked about prior occurrences.”

Crown counsel was recommending that Mossman had committed an offence, under section 37.1 of the B.C. Mines Act, that the former CEO had obstructed, impeded or interfered with an inspector carrying out his duties.

The only witness to testify in this case was Doug Flynn, senior inspector of Mines Health and Safety. Flynn had received emails on July 2, 2015 with photos of discharge from mining activity on Banks Island within the Gitxaała Nation.

Earlier that year, from June 24-25, heavy rains had caused mine waste from an exploratory site to overflow and discharge into the surrounding environment. Aquatic biologist for the mine, Allegra Cairns, had estimated the volume of unauthorized tailings, or mine waste, was 197 cubic metres of water and 116 kg of sediment.

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

At the time Mossman wasn’t on site, stated Seidemann as he read his judgment. However, Mossman was made aware of the pollution from the mine spilling beyond the company’s permitted area. He had asked Cairns to make a report on the incident.

Flynn sent an email to Mossman on July 2: “Ben, it has come to my attention that Banks Island Gold may be discharging mine effluence in an area that may contain fish…” Yet, the mines inspector didn’t include the photos he received of the discharge in the email.

Mossman replied to Flynn later that day saying that there was no discharge of mine effluence other than the discharge at the permitted site.

Crown counsel argued that Mossman didn’t notify Flynn of the June 24-25 discharge, and was therefore obstructing the mines inspector from doing his job.

Seidemann said in his judgment that Flynn’s email to Mossman stated that Banks Island Gold “may be discharging” and “did not suggest something that has happened in the past and stopped.”

“He was never asked if there had been other discharges.”

Mossman was acquitted in this charge under the Mines Act. On Dec. 6, 2018, the mining company’s CEO was given a $15,000 penalty after he was found guilty of one Fisheries Act violation and one Environmental Management Act violation.

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

READ MORE: Bankrupt mining company now faces 35 charges for Banks Island mess

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


Shannon Lough | Editor
Shannon Lough 
Send Shannon email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Prince Rupert Court

Just Posted

Reverend Paul Williams of St. Andrews Cathedral Church stands next to the metal cross showing the enormity of the fabricated piece by a parishioner and stored away for over ten years. The goal is to have the cross mounted to the roof of the sanctuary so it can welcome those entering the harbour. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
A cross to bear for the roof of St. Andrews Cathedral Church

A fabricated metal cross made by a parishioner is seeing the light of day after 15 years in storage

Kristy Maier, Prince Rupert mom, SD 52 trustee, basketball treasurer, district PAC liaison said it is important to teach children to be part of the community. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Heart of the City – Kristy Maier

Coming back to her ‘people’ Kristy Maier now teaches little people how to be a community

It doesn’t matter where or how you received a COVID-19 vaccination, to receive the second immunization everyone must register on the ‘Get Vaccinated’ system health officials said, on May 11. While numbers are down Prince Rupert has not yet ‘zero’ cases as of numbers reported for May 2nd to 8th. (Image: BCCDC)
Prince Rupert still not at ‘zero’ COVID-19 cases

For second immunizations everyone in Prince Rupert and region must register, health officials said

Food programs such as the BC Fruit and Veggies program are important to student learning and students would be at a loss without them, Jeremy Janz principal of Pacific Coast School said, on May 13. Full tummies are the best way to start the day for Prince Rupert students, Natalia White (11) and Nikisha Johnson (12) who attended the official launch of the Breakfast Club of Canada program at PRMS on Feb. 25, 2020. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
UPDATED: School fruits and veggies may be cut, said BC Liberals — Not so said Premier’s office

P.R. students healthy food knowledge grew from the BC School Fruit and Vegetable Nutritional program

Gabriel Bureau president of the Prince Rupert Teachers union said on May 13 that SD 52 52 announced teacher lay-offs has broken the trust. (Photo:K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Teacher job losses are unnecessary, lay-off notices may be issued today, says PRDTU

Prince Rupert District Teachers Union says trust has been broken

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

(Kamloops This Week)
Puppy’s home in question as BC Supreme Court considers canine clash

Justice Joel Groves granted an injunction prohibiting the sale or transfer of the dog

Most Read