TORONTO, March 28, 2013 /CNW/ - The Ontario Securities Commission approved a settlement agreement yesterday between Staff and Bernard Boily (Boily). Boily was a geologist with 30 years of experience and the Qualified Person for Bear Lake Gold Ltd., a mining exploration company and a reporting issuer listed on the TSX Venture Exchange.
The matter is the first case to come before the Commission that pertains to the conduct of a "Qualified Person", a gatekeeper of technical information under National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (NI 43-101).
In the agreed facts, Boily admitted that during the period of December 2007 to July 2009 he:
- altered certain assay results received by Bear Lake and transferred these results into the company's assay database;
- prepared draft press releases for Bear Lake that contained incorrect and inflated data based on the altered results and which was then issued to the market; and that he
- provided Independent Qualified Persons, who were retained to prepare a technical report for Bear Lake (as required by NI 43-101), with altered assay results and assay databases that contained results which were calculated based on these altered results, and he engaged in other misconduct, including replacing core and modifying a drill core log.
Trading in Bear Lake was halted on July 17, 2009, following which Bear Lake announced that it had become aware of material inconsistencies in its exploration results. Boily admitted that upon resumption of trading on July 28, 2009, Bear Lake suffered a market capitalization loss, on one day alone, of over $42 million.
In reaching the settlement, Boily admitted that he:
- perpetrated a fraud in relation to his conduct with the Independent Qualified Persons;
- breached the prohibition against issuing misleading and untrue statements to the market;
- engaged in conduct which he reasonably ought to have known resulted in, or contributed to, an artificial price for Bear Lake securities; and
- engaged in conduct which was not only contrary to the public interest, but abusive to the integrity of Ontario's capital markets.