A mining company executive and a geoscientist have been sanctioned by the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) for violating mining disclosure rules.
A regulatory hearing panel permanently banned James Arthur Robert Voisin, former president and CEO of QcX Gold Corp., and ordered him to pay $130,000 in penalties and $36,790 in disgorgement for securities law violations. It also banned John Charles Archibald, a geoscientist, for 10 years, and imposed a $75,000 penalty against him.
The sanctions follow the panel’s earlier findings that Voisin violated mining disclosure rules by having QcX release resource estimates that didn’t meet regulatory standards, and then trading on that disclosure, before later correcting the record.
Archibald, who authored the non-compliant technical report, made false statements about the preparation of the report, and his qualifications, the panel found.
The violations centered around a technical report on QcX’s gold and silver resources that was prepared by Archibald, who had “no experience calculating or estimating mineral resources,” and included mineral reserve estimates prepared by a mining engineer, despite telling her that the estimates would not be used publicly.
“Voisin, as a director and the CEO of an issuer, and Archibald, as a professional engineer, should have stood as gatekeepers to uphold the relevant standards,” the panel said. “Instead they did the opposite.”
According to the BCSC hearing panel, the company later obtained two additional estimates of its mineral reserves, which were both significantly lower than in the first report — but that those estimates weren’t disclosed in a timely way.
By selling shares of QcX before issuing the report that corrected its “deficient disclosure” Voisin engaged in illegal insider trading, the panel also found.