It's slated to resume that day at 9:30 a.m. in Courtroom B at the Sudbury Courthouse.
The case involves nine charges against Vale and six against Vale supervisor Keith Birnie related to the deaths of Jason Chenier and Jordan Fram at the company's Stobie Mine June 8, 2011.
The decision to adjourn was made Aug. 14 following a brief court appearance by Sudbury lawyer Mac Sinclair, an agent for the defendants' lawyers, and Dave McCaskill, the Crown lawyer representing the Ontario Ministry of Labour.
McCaskill explained to reporters after the court appearance that the defence needs time to review nine large binders of evidence collected by the Crown.
“Our office is required in law to make disclosure, which means we've got to turn over every bit of evidence that we have.”
Vale's lawyer is Douglas Hamilton of Toronto, while Birnie is being represented by Cheryl Edwards of Toronto. The cases for both defendants will be heard together.
While the matter was originally to be heard before a justice of the peace, the lawyers on both sides have agreed to have the matter heard by a judge instead.
McCaskill explained that this case will deal with complex legal issues with which a judge would be more familiar. Judges must be lawyers by training, while that's not necessarily the case with justices of the peace.
“There may be search and seizure issues and there may be charter issues that a judge is more comfortable with because they see them on a more regular basis,” he said.
McCaskill said this case will also likely take months, and justices of the peace aren't used to cases of this length.
The case still has to go through the judicial pre-trial process, where all the parties sit down and discuss the issues before it goes to trial. Then, the judge has to set aside enough time for the trial.
“There's a long process in a case of this complexity,” McCaskill said. “One of the great mistakes is that people rush. There's nothing to be gained by rushing to judgement. The evidence has to come out, and it has to be done in a proper and thorough fashion.”
The Occupational Health and Safety charges were laid by the province May 31 following a nearly year-long investigation by the Ontario Ministry of Labour.
Many of the charges relate to the accumulation of water in Stobie Mine before the miners' deaths. Steelworkers Local 6500, which represents Vale's miners, said in their own report that the accumulation of water was one of the factors leading to the accident.
If convicted of the charges, Vale could face fines of up to $500,000 per count, and Birnie could receive a year in jail, McCaskill said.
“It's a pretty serious case,” he said.
“We've got two men killed in tragic circumstances ... We all know mining is an inherently dangerous occupation.
“One of the things we, as the ministry, strive to do is enforce our regulations to make sure mining is made as safe as it possibly can be. Cases like this really hit hard. They hit hard particularly in a place like this.”