Yukon Zinc sues Procon Mining for defamation over miners lien
Yukon Zinc, the owner of the Wolverine Mine, is in a legal battle with the mine’s contractor Procon Mining that includes allegations of overdue bills, conspiracy and defamation.
According to documents filed in B.C. Civil Court in fall 2014, Yukon Zinc says Procon and its lawyers engaged in a conspiracy to injure the mine owner by overstating in public filings the amount of money it was owed by Yukon Zinc.
Nothing has been proven in court.
On Sept. 8, 2014, Procon filed a miners lien against Yukon Zinc for $17,869,168, but Yukon Zinc says the amount owing at the time was $56,698.
The company also states Procon did not have the right to register the mine’s inventory and concentrates as security.
Yukon Zinc claims the public filings were defamatory and caused damage to its business character, credit and reputation. The documents state “The purpose of this conspiracy was to gain financial benefit to which the defendants are otherwise not entitled and unlikely to gain.”
Yukon Zinc is a Chinese-owned company, and the documents also state “The motives behind the conspiracy may also include the hostility to the racial background of the plaintiff’s executives and its corporate solicitor.”
Procon and its lawyers from Denton Canada LLP deny all the allegations, stating that filing a mining lien does not and cannot amount to defamation.
“Over the course of the relationship, the plaintiff has repeatedly defaulted in its obligation to pay amounts due and owing to Procon Ltd. and, from time to time, Procon Ltd. has had to file miners liens to protect its interests,” states Procon’s response to the civil claim.
Denton states the claims are “frivolous, unnecessary, scandalous and vexatious.” It writes in its response that Yukon Zinc is trying to prevent its client from getting what it is entitled to.
“The true purpose of the claims against this defendant is to seek to impair the ability of the defendants to pursue legitimate claims and remedies against the plaintiff.”
It says Yukon Zinc is abusing the process.