Steps to correct errors and to make sure they do not occur again have been taken according to Taseko after Gibraltar Mine pled guilty to five of seven charges in Williams Lake Provincial Court last week.
Vice President of Corporate Affairs Brian Battison calls the errors unintentional and clerical, as well as unacceptable.
“First of all we terminated the senior environmental engineer at the mine, we created a new superintendent role; a superintendent of environment to provide additional senior level oversight for the sampling, testing, and reporting obligations that we have.”
Battison says the third thing that they did was create a position of an environmental technician as well as changing their internal reporting process.
He says they were short by a day on filing a report on time in seven of the instances to the Ministry of Environment and in the one failed to test for a specific chemical.
Gibraltar was fined $1,000 each for five of the reporting errors, and agreed make a restitution payment of $65,000 to the Environmental Damages Fund for local environmental protection and enhancement projects.
“We do things in a very transparent way as we’re required to do and there should be no concern about the integrity of our environmental practices, our work on the ground,” says Battison. “Did we fail to file reports on time? Yes, we did and we paid a penalty for that.”
The judge that heard the settlement offer, according to Battison had made a couple of good and notable comments including that the fine that Gibraltar was agreeing to pay was very substantial given the non-intentional nature of the offences and that they have taken steps to make the environment even more protected.