An ensuing investigation by the ECCC revealed that up to 1,125 litres of diesel spilled during a fuel transfer between two above-ground storage tanks.
However, a spill report from at the time suggested that more than five times that quantity of diesel had actually been spilled. The report said a mine attendant had forgotten to close a tank outlet valve ahead of a shift change while trying to transfer the diesel from one tank to another.
Under the Environmental Protection Act, this incident would cost De Beers a fine of between C$100,000 and C$4 million.
On July 25, 2022, De Beers pleaded guilty to one offence under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and was sentenced to a C$350,000 fine in Yellowknife Territorial Court. The fine will be directed to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund to support projects that benefit the natural environment.
As a result of this conviction, the company’s name will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry, which contains information on convictions of corporations registered for offences committed under certain federal environmental laws.
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