The Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) has announced a former chief executive of Canada’s Southwestern Resources has received a lifetime from the organisation.
The AusIMM banned John Paterson after he admitted fraud and insider trading charges to Canada’s British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC).
The penalty, which is the most severe the AusIMM can hand down, is a very uncommon one, chief executive Michael Catchpole told MINING DAILY.
“It is most unusual for such a severe penalty to he administered and for the matter to then be made public,” he said.
The BCSC found that Paterson was guilty of using his AusIMM membership as a Qualified Person to alter Southwestern Resources’ assay results in a way that affected the company’s share prices. He then sold his own shares before allowing the falsified information to be made public.
According to Catchpole, it was altering the assay results that was Paterson’s gravest crime.
“The offence that most concerned the AusIMM was Paterson working in his professional capacity as the Qualified Person and altering assay results before they were published to the stock exchange,” he said.
“The ethics committee and the Board acted very quickly to bring in the life ban.”
A statement from the BCSC said that Paterson is now likely to face criminal proceeding relating to the charges of fraud.