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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Local health authority maps are updated each week. The brown maps show the number of confirmed and active cases of COVID-19 for the week of Jan. 15 to 21, with the blue map showing cases over the past year. (Image supplied)
COVID-19 outbreak numbers increase at Acropolis and exposures are up in S.D. 52

Business COVID-19 safety plans are law, public needs to follow health protocols - Northern Health

Asher Hauknes shows his strength with Prince Rupert Gymnastics head coach Erin Hipkiss looking on Nov. 13. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Gymnastics Association benefits from Community Gaming Grant

Prince Rupert sports club to receive just less than $90,000 to build new facility

The COVID-19 outbreak at the two Coastal GasLink workforce lodges has officially been declared over. (Lakes District News file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Coastal GasLink worksites declared over

In total, 56 cases were associated with the outbreak in the Burns Lake and Nechako LHAs

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue was dispatched to a boat fire on Jan. 21 at Fairview Marina. (Photo: supplied)
Boat fire under investigation

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue attended boat fire at Fairview Marina

Toronto-based director Michelle Latimer was recently scrutinized after years of claiming she was of Algonquin and Metis descent. (CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Haida activist calls for hefty fines, jail time against those who claim to be Indigenous

Filmmaker Tamara Bell proposing the Indigenous Identity Act – to dissuade ‘Indigenous identity theft’

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at the Okisollo fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. The First Nations Leadership Council says an attempt by industry to overturn the phasing out of salmon farms in the Discovery Islands in contrary to their inherent Title and Rights. (THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward photo)
First Nations Leadership Council denounces attempt to overturn salmon farm ban

B.C.’s producers filed for a judicial review of the Discovery Islands decision Jan. 18

Most Read