An engineering firm is asking for the company that owns the Minto mine in central Yukon to be placed in receivership, alleging it didn’t pay for water-treatment-related work worth more than $1 million.
Lincoln Engineering Canada ULC filed a petition against Minto Metals Corp. in the Yukon Supreme Court on December 2.
The petition is seeking, among other things, declarations from the court that Minto owes Lincoln $1,040,520.19 including interest as of September 30, that Lincoln has ownership of Minto’s assets including mining claims and all “minerals, ores and concentrates”. There is a valid miner’s lien against. in the mine from November 1, 2021, and Lincoln has priority over other creditors.
The petition has also sought a court order for the appointment of a receiver or receiver manager – essentially, a third party who takes over the management of the company’s finances, assets and operations – for Minto, and Putting up mines, land and equipment for sale.
Minto is yet to file any reply. In response to a request for comment from CBC News, Minto President and CEO Chris Stewart wrote in an email that he “cannot comment specifically” because the matter is before the court.
Stewart wrote, “I can tell you that we oppose Lincoln’s claim and will vigorously defend our position in court.” “Far more facts are relevant to this disagreement than what Lincoln set forth in his lien filing, and all will emerge in due course.”
Lincoln’s petition lists 14 other companies as respondents, all of whom also have financial stakes in Minto.
Meanwhile, the Yukon government has put itself forward as an interested third party in the proceedings, although Department of Energy, Mines and Resources spokesman John Thompson declined to comment on the matter in an email.
17 Outstanding Invoices, Alleges Lincoln
According to the petition, Lincoln and Minto entered into agreements in November and December last year, with Lincoln providing services including water quality testing at the site and construction and operation of a water storage pond, and other engineering support at the mine site.
Lincoln alleges that he sent monthly invoices to Minto for the work, but as of 3 October, 17 invoices were outstanding, amounting to $1,016,822.89, including GST for the work, services and materials, and $23,697.30 in interest.
The plea claimed, “Till date, Minto has refused or neglected to pay the claimed amount, which has been invoiced by Lincoln as per the provisions of the contract.”
Lincoln wants him to be paid 1.5 per cent as monthly interest along with the said outstanding amount.
The company also filed a lien claim with the Whitehorse Mining Recorder’s Office in October.
The Minto mine has been in production since 2019, after about a year in care and maintenance mode, during which it was sold by Capstone Mining Corporation to Pembridge Resources. Minto Metals Corp emerged as its own entity following a series of mergers and deals with Pembridge holding an 11.2 percent “economic interest” in the company, according to its website.
A press release from Minto in November claimed that its year-to-date revenue was up 32.5 percent over the same period last year – $120.6 million compared to $91 million – and that the mine was also producing more copper. producing and selling.
However, the company ran into issues earlier this year when the Yukon government in January increased the mine’s financial security – the estimated cost of cleaning up and renovating the site if the mine is closed – from $72 million, which Minto had already furnished, $104 million.
Minto was not able to advance additional cash by the April 5 deadline and the site was placed under restricted operating conditions related to water storage and treatment to reduce environmental risks.
The Yukon government reduced the financial security figure to $93.2 million in August after Minto completed some remedial work at the mine. The company also made two $1 million payments for its security in 2022, bringing the total owed to the government to $74.1 million.
Thompson, a spokesman for the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, said Minto would remain under restrictive conditions until he paid the full security amount. He also wrote that the government is working with Minto “to develop a payment plan” and that the company should provide regular progress reports to the Yukon government and the Selkirk First Nation, in whose traditional territory the mine operates.
In addition to Lincoln, Thompson also confirmed that another company had filed a miner’s lien against Minto last year – Brad Pattison Contracting, which is not named in Lincoln’s petition.