Mining executive Janet Lee-Sheriff and Golden Predator Mining Corp. are suing the Government of Yukon and its chief mining engineer Paul Christman over allegedly slanderous and defamatory comments made at the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference in January 2020.
Lee-Sheriff and Golden Predator filed a notice of civil claim in BC Supreme Court on May 14. The company’s CEO since 2015, Lee-Sheriff claims the conference is widely attended by mining company insiders and “has been described as the bellwether of the junior mining market for the last twenty-five years, and the number one source of information for investments [sic] trends and ideas.”
She claims that during and after a presentation she made about the company’s quartz mining license and water license for its Brewery Creek mine just east of Dawson City, Christman “loudly and publicly” called her a liar, accusing her of “spreading misinformation about Golden Predator’s license status.” According to the lawsuit, Christman then told the plaintiff’s husband, Golden Predator executive chairman Bill Sheriff, to “get your f------ wife under control.”
“The statement is demeaning and impugned the board’s and executive leadership’s governance of Golden Predator as a public corporation that has allegedly failed to apply good corporate governance in the selection and oversight of its CEO,” the claim states. “Ms. Lee-Sheriff is a female CEO of a Canadian Mining company. The vast majority of executive roles at Canadian mining companies are occupied by men. Ms. Lee-Sheriff serves as Golden Predator’s CEO in a male-dominated business environment.”
Lee-Sheriff further claims that Christman came to Golden Predator’s booth at the industry conference and “yelled at and publicly berated Ms. Lee-Sheriff, using his large frame to intimidate her, invaded her personal space, and with aggressive gestures, yelled at her ‘who do you think you are’?”
The plaintiffs claim the company holds valid licenses for the Brewery Creek project, and that Lee-Sheriff “both personally and as CEO of and on behalf of Golden Predator, comports herself and Golden Predator honestly and forthrightly vis a vis the public, Golden Predator employees, the Yukon mining industry, investors and potential investors in Golden Predator, and the Government of Yukon.”
Lee-Sheriff and Golden Predator seek damages for defamation and an injunction precluding Christman from dealing with matters involving the company’s licensing. The allegations have not been proven or tested in court and the defendants had not responded to the lawsuit by press time.