BC Corporation Director and Contractor Sentenced in Deadly Burkina Faso Mine Flood


Trevali Mining Corp. confirms reports that two executives have been convicted of manslaughter in Burkina Faso following a catastrophic flood at the company’s Perkoa mine.

The Vancouver-based miner released a statement Thursday thanking local communities and Perkoa employees who attended a court in Burkina Faso to hear verdicts on Wednesday.

Perkoa mine manager Hein Frey, who is South African and worked for Trevali, was given a 24-month suspended prison sentence. Daryl Christensen, who is South African and a manager at Byrnecut, the Trevali contractor, was given a 12-month suspended prison sentence.

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The Perkoa mine, located about 120 km from the capital Ouagadougou, was flooded by heavy and unusual rains on April 16. About 125mm fell in an hour, topping the two berms that surrounded the open pit.

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Eight workers were killed. Six of their bodies were recovered by search parties in May, and the other two were found in June up to 670 meters underground.

Trevali says he has worked closely with authorities in Burkina Faso to investigate the causes of the flooding and is working to receive approvals to restart the mine. While this investigation was unfolding, the West African nation had imposed temporary travel restrictions on some of Trevali’s foreign employees.

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Jason Mercier, director of investor relations at Trevali, previously told Global News that flood mitigation plans were in place at the Perkoa mine, which has not experienced a comparable flash flood since operations began. in 2013.

According to Mercier, in conjunction with his mining contractor, the families of the slain workers were offered financial and mental health support. The workers will not be identified publicly out of respect for their families, he added.

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Trevali owns 90% of the Perkoa mine, 90% of the Rosh Pinah mine in Namibia and 100% of the Caribou mine in northern New Brunswick. It also holds a 44% interest in the Gergarub project in Namibia.

According to its website, the bulk of its revenue comes from zinc and lead.

With files from Elizabeth McSheffrey of Global News

© 2022 The Canadian Press


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