SOURCE: Bear Creek Contracting

April 25, 2017 12:58 ET

Northern contractor files multi-million dollar lawsuit against Brucejack Mine owner

TERRACE, BC--(Marketwired - April 25, 2017) - Bear Creek Contracting, one of Northwest British Columbia's most experienced and trusted industrial construction companies, is suing the owners of the Brucejack Gold Mine and its general contractor Rokstad Power. The civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court - Terrace yesterday is for $14.5 million in unpaid invoices for work building a series of power transmission line foundations as well as damages for breach of contract, breach of trust and costs. The Court will also be asked to award punitive and aggravated damages.

The lawsuit names Pretium Exploration Inc. of Vancouver, owners of the Brucejack Mine approximately 100 kilometers north of Stewart in B.C.'s northwest corner, RPC Limited Partnership and Rokstad Power GP Inc., the general contractor responsible for construction of a 57-kilometer power transmission line.

Bear Creek Contracting has registered a Claim of Lien under the Builders Lien Act against the Brucejack Mine's mineral claims at the Gold Commissioner's office and has registered a Certificate of Pending Litigation against the mine.

Bear Creek had been subcontracted by Rokstad Power to build 171 transmission tower foundations for the erection of 57-kilometer-long transmission line to provide power to the mine through extremely remote and rugged terrain.

The court filed documents outline a series of events with Bear Creek Contracting being directed to increase the scope of work following changes to the design of the foundations. This resulted in significant added costs.

The schedule for completion of the line fell well behind schedule due to a number of factors including inclement weather, unanticipated issues with the terrain, design changes and environmental concerns.

The court-filed notice of civil claim says: "The transmission line project was initiated by Pretium on the basis of incomplete, misleading and preliminary design documents on the basis of Pretium's priority to complete the project in 2016. Accordingly, Pretium and Rokstad provided assurances to Bear Creek, both express and implied, that monetary compensation and extension of time would be provided to bear Creek in recognition of the challenging and changing nature of the project.

"On the basis of these assurances, Bear Creek accelerated its work, adjusted it methodology, devoted additional resources and incurred significant additional costs in order to prosecute the Bear Creek scope of work as directed by Pretium and Rokstad.

"Notwithstanding the significant and critical contribution of Bear Creek to the completion of the project and the Bear Creek scope of work, and despite assurances of fair compensation provided by Pretium and Rokstad, the defendants have failed to pay or direct payment of additional payment to Bear Creek.

"Rokstad and Pretium's failure to pay the amounts set out in the Notice of Claim has created a significant financial burden on Bear Creek and has resulted in an ongoing loss of business opportunity for Bear Creek.

Bear Creek Contracting began the work in April 2016 and the project was completed on time last September ensuring the mine could open this spring. There have been no issues with the quality of the work and no question that the work was completed satisfactorily by Bear Creek

"While I support Pretium's efforts to bring a major new mine into production and am pleased that Bear Creek played an important role that ensured that the mine could open this spring, I did not expect that seven months after the work was completed, we would still be owed in excess of fourteen million dollars," says Ian Munson, CEO of the Bear Creek Group of Companies headquartered in Terrace. "We expected to be paid for the work and thanked for a job well done. We now have a huge receivable that has drained our operating capital and is creating serious issues with our business."

No date for the civil claim to be heard in B.C. Supreme Court has been set.

For more information http://bearcreekgroup.ca

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