Detour Gold faces criminal charges over death of mine worker

Gold mining company Detour Gold was charged with criminal negligence under the Criminal Code of Canada on Thursday over the death of an employee at its Detour Lake mine in Ontario on June 3.
"We have and will continue to cooperate fully with both the Ontario Provincial Police and Ministry of Labour throughout their investigations and are taking these charges very seriously,” said Paul Martin, president and CEO of Detour Gold, headquartered in Toronto. “We now need to obtain the information on which charges have been brought in order to be in a position to comment further.”

Investigations conducted by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Ministry of Labour have been ongoing since Sept. 2.

On June 3, Denis Millette, aged 52 years, was repairing equipment at the mine. During this time, he was observed to be in medical distress and was attended to by on-site medical staff. The employee subsequently died. The investigation of the circumstances leading to the death of the worker determined the cause of death to be acute cyanide intoxication, according to the OPP.

The Ministry of Labour has until June 2016 to conclude its investigation and therefore additional regulatory charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act may still be brought in relation to this incident.