Trevali Mining Corp. has confirmed reports that two executives have been convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Burkina Faso in the wake of a flooding disaster at the company’s Perkoa Mine.
The Vancouver-based miner issued a statement Thursday thanking local communities and Perkoa employees who attended a Burkina Faso court to hear the verdicts Wednesday.
“We have been moved by the ongoing support across the Trevali family throughout this ordeal and are hugely grateful for the support we have received,” said Jason Mercier, the company’s director of investor relations, in an email.
Perkoa mine manager Hein Frey, who is South African and worked for Trevali, received a 24-month suspended sentence Wednesday while Daryl Christensen, who is South African and a manager with Trevali’s contractor Byrnecut, received a 12-month suspended sentence.
The two men were convicted in relation to the deaths of eight workers who died April 16 when Trevali’s Perkoa Mine in the West African nation flooded following heavy rainfall.
The bodies of the eight workers were recovered in May and June.
Trevali said it has worked closely with local authorities to investigate the causes of the flood. The company said in an August news release that it has taken a number of steps to prevent similar events from happening in the future, including raising the mine’s flood protection berm, installing an early warning system that provides real-time weather and streamflow information, and improving its emergency management plans.
Since early August, Trevali has been in the process of obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals to restart Perkoa, Mercier said Wednesday. The company has not yet made any decisions regarding a potential restart, he added.
In August, Trevali filed for creditor protection under the CCAA (Companies’ Creditor Protection Act).
As a result, the Toronto Stock Exchange has suspended trading of Trevali’s shares. The company’s common shares will be delisted at the close of the market on Oct. 3.
—Amanda Stephenson, The Canadian Press