Mining company pleads guilty

Procon Mining and Tunnelling Ltd. has pleaded guilty to two health and safety regulation charges on Tuesday, after a 20-year-old died at the Wolverine Mine almost two years ago.

Procon Mining and Tunnelling Ltd. has pleaded guilty to two health and safety regulation charges on Tuesday, after a 20-year-old died at the Wolverine Mine almost two years ago.

Paul Wentzell, originally from Newfoundland, was an apprentice mechanic at the mine, 200 kilometres south of Ross River. On October 19, 2009, the parking brake of one of the company’s Toyota Land Cruisers failed while it was parked on a steep ramp. Wentzell was crushed between it and another vehicle.

While he could walk and talk after the incident, Wentzell died from internal injuries shortly after arriving at hospital.

The operating company initially faced a total of eight charges focused on its equipment maintenance and repair, and employee training and supervision.

After the company pleaded guilty of failing to ensure the equipment was maintained in a safe operating condition and that its worker had demonstrated competence in operating equipment, the six other charges were stayed. That means it can still be brought back to court within a year, but no further action will occur at this time.

Procon – along with mine owner Yukon Zinc – is also facing charges in another death at the zinc, silver, copper and lead mine.

Will Fisher, a 25-year-old mechanic, died after an underground tunnel caved in on April 25, 2010.

No pleas have been heard in this case yet.

A sentencing hearing for the charges in Wentzell’s case will be held in September.

The penalty for violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act is a fine of up to $150,000 for the first offence and up to $300,000 for any subsequent offences.

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

Just Posted

A Copper Ridge resident clears their driveway after a massive over night snowfall in Whitehorse on Nov. 2, 2020. Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for the Whitehorse and Haines Junction areas for Jan. 18. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Winter storm warning for Haines Junction and Whitehorse

Environment Canada says the storm will develop Monday and last until Tuesday

Maria Metzen off the start line of the Yukon Dog Mushers Association’s sled dog race on Jan. 9. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Mushers race in preparation for FirstMate Babe Southwick

The annual race is set for Feb. 12 and 13.

The Yukon government is making changes to the medical travel system, including doubling the per diem and making destinations for medical services more flexible. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Subsidy for medical travel doubled with more supports coming

The change was recommended in the Putting People First report endorsed by the government

Chloe Sergerie, who was fined $500 under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> on Jan. 12, says she made the safest choice available to her when she entered the territory. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Woman fined $500 under CEMA says she made ‘safest decision’ available

Filling out a declaration at the airport was contrary to self-isolation, says accused

Yukon University has added seven members to its board of governors in recent months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New members named to Yukon U’s board of governors

Required number of board members now up to 17

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

The Fish Lake area viewed from the top of Haeckel Hill on Sept. 11, 2018. The Yukon government and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced they are in the beginning stages of a local area planning process for the area. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local area planning for Fish Lake announced

The Government of Yukon and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced in… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Fire damage, photographed on Jan. 11, to a downtown apartment building which occurred late in the evening on Jan. 8. Zander Firth, 20, from Inuvik, was charged with the arson and is facing several other charges following his Jan. 12 court appearance. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
More charges for arson suspect

The Inuvik man charged in relation to the fire at Ryder Apartments… Continue reading

The grace period for the new Yukon lobbyist registry has come to an end and those who seek to influence politicians will now need to report their efforts to a public database. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Grace period for new lobbyist registry ends

So far nine lobbyists have registered their activities with politicians in the territory

Most Read