CEO of Proposed Manitoba Sand Mine Accused of Stock Manipulation in Alberta

September 15, 2020

TREATY 1 TERRITORY, WINNIPEG, MB - Manitoba Liberals say the PC Government needs to do better due diligence when it comes to mining projects in Manitoba, citing the business record of the CEO of the proposed Vivian Sands project.

Faisal Somji is the CEO of CanWhite sands, which is looking to develop a "sand mine" east of Winnipeg. The mineral claims cover an area larger than the entire city of Winnipeg and the plan is to punch boreholes to pull up sand for use in fracking.

Residents have expressed concern that the process could affect groundwater in Manitoba's largest aquifer, which is renowned for its water purity. Residents say the company is already not living up to its promise to fill test boreholes.

Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont, MLA for St. Boniface, said there are serious questions about the company's statements and credibility since the CanWhite sands CEO, Faisal Somji, was implicated in a widespread B.C.-based cannabis, cryptocurrency and mining stock scandal.

"We called for a full review of the Vivian Sands project before the Clean Environment Commission with public hearings because Manitobans deserve to know the truth," said Lamont. "It would very helpful if we could ask questions about these charges and schemes in BC and Alberta before the Vivian Sands project goes any further."

Somji was CEO of Prize Mining Corp, an Alberta company, which on January 3, 2019, was ordered by the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) to cease trading. The ASC news release from January 15, 2019, alleges that:

"Prize Mining Corp. (Prize) breached Alberta securities laws, and acted contrary to the public interest, by making misrepresentations and failing to comply with its continuous disclosure obligations."

The alleged scam involved "consultants" investing $6.5-million in the company in exchange for $5.5-million in payments for work that wasn't done. Prize Inc. publicly claimed investors were interested but didn't disclose that consultants were being paid. The "consultants" could then sell off their stock.

Some of the same players were involved in a similar scheme in BC with a company called Bridgemark Financial, which was under investigation by the B.C. Securities Commission.

Jon Gerrard, Manitoba Liberal Critic for Sustainable Development, said the Pallister government is to blame for failing to do their due diligence.

"Manitoba has enormous potential for resource development, but it has to be done with real integrity and respect for Manitoba's people and our environment," said Gerrard. "The PCs are in a race to the bottom, and Manitoba Liberals say we should commit to being the best in the world at getting it right."



  1. Map of the aquifer with CanWhite Sands' Mineral claims superimposed.


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