Mining Company fined $350,000 for Ontario Water Resources Act Violations

Timmins ON (12/22/2020) – Convicted – Victoria Gold Mines (East Timmins) Limited, David P. Larche

Court Location – Timmins

Description of Offence – The conviction relates to failing to comply with a ministry approval for effluent discharge limits, and for director liability.

Date of Offence – On or about July 4, 2016 through to November 1, 2016

Date of Conviction – November 26, 2020

Penalty Imposed – On November 26, 2020, the Victoria Gold Mines (East Timmins) Limited was convicted of five violations and was fined $280,000, plus a victim fine surcharge of $70,000, with one year to pay the fine. David P. Larche was convicted of three violations and was fined $70,000, plus a victim fine surcharge of $17,500 with one year to pay. All charges were under the Ontario Water Resources Act.

Background –

Victoria Gold Mines (East Timmins) Limited operates a mining project from a location on Concession 1 in the Township of Hislop, District of Cochrane.

David Larche is the sole director and officer of the company.

The company operates a sewage works under a ministry approval, which requires compliance with specific conditions for monitoring and reporting of effluent discharges to the natural environment, including limits for metals, cyanide, total suspended solids and un-ionized ammonia discharges.

On October 27, 2016, the company submitted its Quarter 3/2016 operational report, which indicated non-compliance with the ministry approval for the following approval conditions:
daily concentration limit exceedances for copper and for un-ionized ammonia,
monthly average maximum concentration limit exceedances for un-ionized ammonia,
failure to report exceedances orally as soon as possible and in writing within seven days for maximum daily concentration limits of copper and un-ionized ammonia, and for monthly average concentration limit for un-ionized ammonia, and
for failing to operate the sewage works in accordance with the approval, by failing to measure the effluent flow rate from the sewage works, as required.

An investigation resulted in eight charges altogether. Victoria Gold Mines (East Timmins) Limited was convicted on five charges for failing to comply with ministry approval for effluent discharge limits.

The company director, Mr. Larche, was found guilty on three charges for failing to take all reasonable care to prevent Victoria Gold Mines (East Timmins) Limited from failing to meet the ministry approval requirements.

Contacts: Gary Wheeler Communications Branch Gary.S.Wheeler@ontario.ca 416-314-6666; Andrew Buttigieg Minister’s Office Andrew.Buttigieg@ontario.ca 437-224-4599

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