Link Global faces major penalties from Alberta Utilities Commission

Link Global faces major penalties from Alberta Utilities Commission

Link Global Technologies, a Canadian block reward mining company listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE: LNK), is currently facing significant potential penalties for operating unauthorized power plants in the Canadian province of Alberta.

On Sep. 24, the province’s power utility regulator, Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC), issued another enforcement submission to the company. Regulators recommended several penalties for violating Alberta’s legislative requirements in Campbell (Sturgeon County) and Kirkwall.

The AUC’s enforcement staff proposed Link Global to pay an economic disgorgement of roughly CAD 2 million for financial gains from unlawful electricity production. Additionally, the team is seeking over CAD 5 million from Link Global’s BTC mining operations, based on the regulator’s calculations of Link Global’s alleged gross economic benefit for two plants. Finally, it recommends an additional CAD 81,000 for two administrative penalties.

According to online reports, the AUC determined Link Global’s economic benefit based on the “more conservative generation rate” of 1.2 BTC per day and “the more conservative of 95,000 TH of computing power versus 10 MW.” Online reports further noted that Link Global’s revenue source is primarily based on hosting or selling power to third-party digital currency miners, “with a smaller proportion of revenue coming from self-mining activities.”

“The enforcement staff report and recommendations are only part of the information that will be assessed and considered by the AUC tribunal panel of Commission members,” a representative for the AUC stated.

Link Global received an extension to October 14, as the deadline for filing its response. “All of this information will be considered at an oral hearing before a final ruling is issued. The date of this hearing has not yet been scheduled,” the representative said.

Following the AUC’s submission, Link Global CEO Stephen Jenkins subsequently issued a statement acknowledging some mistakes and stating the company has been working hard to rectify missteps. He further went on to state that:

“We have followed the orders of AUC since being notified of issues in early 2021. Our business works to respect the laws, the people, and the environment, and we believe that our submission to the AUC will make this apparent. […] Link has followed the orders issued by the AUC and believes that what enforcement staff is proposing is punitive and not consistent with the AUC’s Aug. 19, 2021 decision,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins concluded this statement by apologizing to shareholders and promising to work tirelessly to ensure a positive outcome.

On October 5, Jenkins issued a second statement proclaiming the creation of a special regulatory compliance and advisory committee and explaining that:

“The Company has acknowledged being unaware of the statutory and regulatory requirements for generating electricity in Alberta when it commenced operations at Campbell and Kirkwall and will continue to work with the Commission to ensure full compliance with the regulatory and compliance processes of the AUC. On a go-forward basis.”

If passed, the disgorgement would mark only the second disgorgement penalty the AUC had ever levied. In 2015, it approved a CAD 56 million settlement for electricity power generator TransAlta Corporation. 

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