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Mining company ordered to pay penalty for Fisheries Act violation in Nunavut

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On May 1, 2017, Agnico Eagle Mines Limited pleaded guilty, in the Nunavut Court of Justice, to one offence under the Fisheries Act. The court ordered the company to pay a total penalty of $50,000, which will be directed to the federal Environmental Damages Fund. As a result of this conviction, the company’s name will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry.

Environment and Climate Change Canada said an inspection at the Meadowbank Gold Mine in August 2013, revealed seepage from the tailings impoundment area into an area immediately next to a fish-bearing waterbody. The release had not been reported to an Environment and Climate Change Canada inspector or to the territorial spill line.

According to an article by the CBC, the spill was discovered by an Indigenous and Northern Affairs inspector in July 2013. The inspector noticed red-coloured water and sediment in a lake that contained trout and also observed the same red-coloured water in an adjacent waste rock storage sump.

Following an investigation by the Department’s enforcement officers, the company was charged, and it subsequently pleaded guilty to a violation of subsection 38(4) of the Fisheries Act – failing to notify an inspector following the unauthorized deposit of a deleterious substance into water frequented by fish.

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Click here to see the original release from Environment and Climate Change.

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