THUNDER BAY, Ont. − Newmont Canada Limited, a Toronto-based gold mining corporation that owns and operates Golden Giant Mine in Hemlo, Ont., was fined $120,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that resulted in critical injuries to two employees.

On August 12, 2004, two electricians, one of whom was a journeyman and the other an apprentice, were performing electrical work on a starter motor that supplied power to an air compressor used for milling purposes when contact was made with 4,160-volt electrical line “side stationary contacts” (electrical contacts for the side starter motor). A short circuit occurred causing severe thermal arcing. This resulted in critical flash burns to both workers. The journeyman electrician received first, second and third degree burns to the face, hands and arms. The apprentice electrician received first and second degree burns to the hands. The incident occurred at the Motor Control Centre of Golden Giant Mine located about 45 kilometres (30 miles) east of Marathon, Ont.

Newmont Canada Limited pleaded guilty, as an employer, to failing to take the precaution of ensuring that workers were provided with, and used, personal protective equipment to guard against injury from energized parts before maintenance, repair or adjustment work was performed on the motor, as required by Section 159(3) of the Regulations for Mines and Mining Plants. This was contrary to Section 25(1)(c) of the act.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Bruce Leaman of the Ontario Court of Justice in Thunder Bay. In addition, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.


Belinda Sutton
Ministry of Labour

Brian A. Blumenthal
Crown Counsel
Legal Services Branch
Ministry of Labour

Court Information at a Glance

Ontario Court of Justice
110 North Archibald Street
Thunder Bay, Ontario

Judge: Justice of the Peace Bruce Leaman Date / Time: October 21, 2005, 1:30 p.m.
Defendant: Newmont Canada Limited
Matter: Occupational Health & Safety
(Submitted by Tony Moscioni)