British Columbia

B.C.'s high court upholds new trial for two managers after spill at mine

A new trial will go ahead for two senior executives of a now-closed gold mine in northwestern British Columbia.

A new trial will go ahead for two senior executives of a now-closed gold mine in northwestern British Columbia

The Banks Island Gold mine began commercial production in January 2015, and was ordered to cease operations in July 2015. In January 2016, the company filed for bankruptcy. (courtesy Ian McAllister)

A new trial will go ahead for two senior executives of a now-closed gold mine in northwestern British Columbia.

B.C. Court of Appeal Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon issued the decision Thursday after rejecting appeals from Benjamin Mossman and Dirk Meckert.

The two opposed a lower court order overturning their acquittals on charges related to a 2015 spill from the Banks Island Gold site, which is also known as the Yellow Giant mine, 120 kilometres south of Prince Rupert.

Mossman's two convictions and $15,000 fine for minor offences relating to the spill were also set aside by the court.

The men argued unsuccessfully that the B.C. Supreme Court judge who ordered the new trial in February made several errors and used the wrong framework to assess alleged charter breaches.

The Yellow Giant mine closed in 2015, shortly after enforcement officers from Environment and Climate Change Canada said waste from the operation had been found in the woods and wetlands surrounding it.

Court documents show Mossman was the president, CEO and manager of the gold and silver mine, while Meckert was the chief geologist and assistant mine manager.

A date for a new trial has not been set.

A report from the Ministry of Environment indicates mining waste was detected on Banks Island during a July 2015 inspection. (B.C. Ministry of Environment)

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