SNCLavalin loses court bid for special agreement to avoid criminal prosecution

OTTAWA — SNC-Lavalin has a lost a court bid to overturn the public prosecutor’s refusal to negotiate an agreement that would see the company avoid a criminal trial.In a ruling Friday, the Federal Court of Canada tossed out the Montreal-based engineering firm’s plea for judicial review of the 2018 decision by the director of public prosecutions.SNC-Lavalin faces accusations it paid bribes to obtain government business in Libya — a criminal case that has prompted a political storm for the Trudeau Liberals. Here’s what a 10-year ban on federal contract bids would mean for SNC-Lavalin Why Jody Wilson-Raybould likely never pushed prosecutors to settle the case against SNC-Lavalin Here’s how a new escape route could open up for SNC-Lavalin The company unsuccessfully pressed the director of prosecutions to negotiate a “remediation agreement,” a legal means of holding an organization to account for wrongdoing without criminal proceedings.The director told SNC-Lavalin last year that negotiating a remediation agreement would be inappropriate in this case, and the company asked the Federal Court for an order requiring talks.In her ruling Friday, Federal Court Justice Catherine Kane said prosecutorial decision-making is not subject to judicial review, except for cases where there is an abuse of process.“The decision at issue — whether to invite an organization to enter into negotiations for a remediation agreement — clearly falls within the ambit of prosecutorial discretion and the nature of decisions that prosecutors are regularly called to make in criminal proceedings,” she wrote.In any event, the Federal Court would not have jurisdiction to review such a decision of the director of public prosecutions as the prosecutor’s authority flows from the common law, not a federal statute, Kane added.SNC-Lavalin finds itself at the centre of a political tempest over allegations prime ministerial aides leaned on former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to help the company avoid prosecution.Wilson-Raybould told the House of Commons justice committee late last month that she came under relentless pressure from the Prime Minister’s Office and other federal officials to ensure the company was invited to negotiate a remediation agreement.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his former principal secretary, Gerald Butts, have disputed the notion any inappropriate arm-twisting of Wilson-Raybould took place.Meanwhile, SNC-Lavalin’s court action simmered away in the background.In its Oct. 19 submission to the Federal Court, the company said while the public prosecutor has discretion to decide whether to open negotiations on a remediation agreement, this discretion “is not unfettered and must be exercised reasonably” under the law.The company said it provided the prosecutor’s office with information showing the objectives of the remediation provisions were “easily met,” including details of SNC-Lavalin’s efforts to implement a world-class ethics and compliance program, as well as the complete turnover of the company’s senior management and board of directors.The company also cited the “negative impact of the ongoing uncertainty related to the charges” on its business.In a Jan. 8 response filed with the court, the director of prosecutions said SNC-Lavalin’s argument is “bereft of any possibility of success and should be struck.”While SNC-Lavalin has the right to be assumed innocent and to a fair trial, it has “no right or entitlement” under common or criminal law to be invited to negotiate a remediation agreement, the director said. read more

IM honours the designer of innovative stateoftheart stepchange mineral processing flowsheets

first_imgSandy Gray is inducted into the International Mining Technology Hall of Fame in the concentration category for 2015. In second place was Dr D. R. Nagaraj (Nag) who has more than 35 years of outstanding and innovative achievements in the design, development and commercialisation of numerous families of novel flotation reagents.Gray, Technical Director and co-founder of Gekko Systems, has made a significant and unique contribution to the international mining industry. He has offered the industry a platform that maximises the recovery of minerals by using new developments alongside more conventional processing equipment. These developments can be used to eliminate waste and create a high-grade stream of concentrate from which minerals are extracted by gravity separation, or intensive cyanidation.  Both methods provide simple, economical, and environmentally responsible means of recovering a range of minerals.Gray’s expertise in mineral processing is evident in his ability to design a range of innovative, state-of-the-art, step-change mineral processing flowsheets. The range of patented equipment includes; InLine Pressure Jig, InLine Leach Reactor, Python Modular Plant, and G-Rex Resin Column. These not only set new standards in design, fabrication and efficiency, but also in improved economic, environmental, and recovery rate benchmarks not met elsewhere in the mining industry.The equipment he invented has established the following new principles:Innovative with smaller environmental footprintSignificantly greater energy efficiencies and cost reductionsModularity – Gekko’s equipment can be dismantled and angled to fit into previously inaccessible or economically unfeasible sitesTransportability – the equipment can be collapsed into containers and economically transported, providing long-term advantage to clientsHigh adaptability engineered and tailor-made for a specific siteLow capital cost and lower operating costsFully automated and controlled via PLC systems with remote connectivityGekko equipment can be constructed, pre-commissioned and calibrated before transportation, enabling rapid start-up, thereby increasing significant financial returns.Advanced gravity separation is an alternative process offered through Gray’s innovative equipment compared with the 19th century-designed options currently available. His contribution has been to demonstrate not only the advantages of gravity separation as a viable means of mineral capture, but also when coupled with state-of-the-art, fine crushing technology, it can provide significant economic and energy efficient benefits to customers. The latest development is the modular Python Processing Plant which is inexpensive to operate, and capable of placement in previously inaccessible locations or deep mines. It also has the flow-on benefit when installed underground of reducing the volume of concentrate that has to be taken to the surface for further treatment to as low as 10%. This is unprecedented in the mining industry and has profound implications for the international mining community. Over 400 InLine Pressure Jigs have been sold into similar systems.Another significant development has been the intensive cyanidation in gold and silver mines. The first commercial InLine Leach Reactor was installed into the Penjom Gold Mine in Malaysia in 1997. Since then many gold mines (some silver) use this technology to recover gold from gravity concentrates. The introduction of this technology not only increases overall recovery but also has major benefits in security and manual handling. Over 140 units have been installed worldwide.Since 1996, Gray has led the mining industry into the 21st century by creating a range of economical, modular and environmentally responsible mineral processing equipment. He is an innovator of note and represents a perfect blend of vision and product development for the global mining industry.Don’t forget to put your nominations in (to john@im-mining.com) for the 2016 inductions. There are 12 categories:ExplorationUnderground developmentUnderground ProductionSurface miningComminutionConcentrationMining softwareSafetyBulk handlingMetallurgyEnvironmental management and stewardshipOutstanding innovatorlast_img read more