Yukon Zinc Corporation, which owns the now-defunct Wolverine mine, has been ordered to pay more than $100,000 in fines. (John Thompson/Yukon News file)

Yukon Zinc pleads guilty to Quartz Mining Act charges

‘The company takes these issues seriously’

A Vancouver-based mining company has been ordered to pay more than $100,000 in fines and restitution after violating conditions of its quartz mining licence and failing to comply with an inspector’s directions in relation to its operation near Watson Lake.

Yukon Zinc Corporation, which owns the now-defunct Wolverine mine, pleaded guilty in Yukon territorial court April 20 to five Quartz Mining Act charges — failing to conduct an annual physical inspection, failing to remove chemical reagents, failing to submit a written report, all in contravention of its licence, and two counts of failing to comply with an inspector’s direction. The charges were all related to violations that took place between March and October 2016.

Similar charges against Yukon Zinc CEO Jing You Lu were stayed by the Crown.

The court ordered the company to pay a collective $78,500 in fines and also issued it a one-year probation order. The terms of order include paying the Yukon government $25,165 in restitution for work done by the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources’s compliance monitoring and inspections branch, to ensure that physical inspections are done at the site by an engineer of July 1 of every year, and to not commit the same or related offences again.

The probation order also required Yukon Zinc to issue a joint press release with the Yukon government at Yukon Zinc’s expense.

The press release was issued May 22.

“Although the breaches did not cause harm to the environment or human health, the company takes these issues seriously,” the press release reads. “The company acknowledges that, while it did eventually meet the terms of its licence and the directions, its failure to do so in the time required did not meet the standards set by the Yukon regulatory authorities, or the expectations the company has of itself.”

The fines must be paid by June 30, while the restitution was due within 60 days of the guilty plea.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

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