Canadian junior miners hit by lawsuits

Dec 12, 2008 | 06:21 AM |

Crystallex International Corp. has been slapped with two separate lawsuits over its stalled Las Cristinas gold project in Venezuela, heightening industry concerns that junior miners might be at increased risk of legal action from shareholders angered by the collapse in equity values this year.

One class-action suit, launched in New York on behalf of shareholders, claims that Crystallex made misleading comments about the potential for Las Cristinas to be approved by the Venezuelan government. It seeks unspecified damages.

The other suit, filed by Computershare Trust Co. of Canada, Toronto, on behalf of Crystallex noteholders, alleges that the company pursued Las Cristinas for too long and certain operations were mismanaged. It seeks to have the debt repaid at a price equal to 102 percent of the principal amount, in addition to accrued and unpaid interest.

"We will defend these actions vigorously," said Richard Marshall, vice president of investor relations at Toronto-based Crystallex.....





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