Securities regulator alleges that Princeton mining analyst engaged in insider trading
VANCOUVER, Nov. 28, 2013 /CNW/ - The Executive Director of the British Columbia Securities Commission has issued a notice of hearing alleging that a mining cost analyst engaged in insider trading.
The notice alleges that Robert Launder sold shares of Baja Mining Corp. while in a special relationship with the company and while in possession of material facts concerning a cost review that had not been generally disclosed. Launder lives in Princeton, B.C.
Launder, a mining cost analyst, was the Manager of Project Controls for Minera Y Metalurgica Del Boleo S.A. de C.V. (MMB), a subsidiary of Baja. BCSC staff maintains that Launder was integrally involved in the preparation of a cost review for Baja's sole asset, a joint venture interest in the Boleo copper mine project. The cost review ultimately identified a projected cost overrun of approximately $246 million for the Boleo project.
The notice states that in light of the pending release of the cost review, Baja implemented trading blackout periods with respect to Baja shares, including a blackout from April 10 to April 25, 2012. During the blackout, insiders and employees of MMB, among others, were prohibited from trading in Baja shares.
The notice alleges that Launder was aware of the trading blackout, and that as a member of the team that developed the cost review, he knew about the cost overruns long before it was disclosed to the public.
BCSC staff contends that Launder engaged in insider trading when he sold 5,000 Baja shares on April 20, 2012, the last trading day before the news release pertaining to the cost review was issued. Launder sold his shares while in a special relationship with Baja, and with knowledge of the cost review before such information was generally disclosed.
These allegations have not been proven. Counsel for the Executive Director will apply to set dates for a hearing into the allegations before a panel of commissioners on January 7, 2013 at 9:00am.
The B.C. Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating trading in securities within the province. You may view the notice of hearing on our website www.bcsc.bc.ca by typing Robert Launder or 2013 BCSECCOM 269 in the search box. Information regarding disciplinary proceedings can be found in the Enforcement section of the BCSC website. Please visit the Canadian Securities Administrators' Disciplined Persons List for information relating to persons disciplined by provincial securities regulators, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MFDA).
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SOURCE British Columbia Securities Commission