Pretium Resources Inc. wins class action that challenged the withholding of an adverse opinion in the midst of a public gold miner’s exploration program
July 22, 2022
McCarthy Tétrault successfully defended Pretium Resources Inc. ("Pretium") in a national class proceeding challenging the disclosure of an adverse opinion received in the course of a public gold miner’s exploration program. At issue was the standard of materiality for continuous disclosure and the parameters of the reasonable investigation defence.
After certification, the defendants brought a motion for summary judgment and the plaintiff brought a cross-motion for summary judgment. On February 2, 2021 Justice Belobaba granted summary judgment for the defendants and dismissed the action: Wong v. Pretium Resources Inc., 2021 ONSC 54.
The Plaintiff appealed. On July 22, 2022 the Court of Appeal for Ontario unanimously affirmed the dismissal of the action: Wong v. Pretium Resources Inc., 2022 ONCA 549.
This is the first decision on the merits of a class action for secondary market representation under Part XXIII.1 of the Securities Act and the first of its kind in Canada. The decision provides valuable guidance for issuers on the materiality analysis and it expands the availability of the reasonable investigation defence.
McCarthy Tétrault LLP represented Pretium with a team led by Michael Rosenberg that included Amanda Iarusso, Paul Steep, Andrew Matheson, Caroline Humphrey, Hakim Kassam and Aya Schechner.