Minister calls out Anglo, Glencore
Anglo and Glencore meet standards after coal dust monitoring “partial breaches”
Wednesday 16 August 2017
The Department of mines has confirmed all four Central Queensland coal mines accused of dust monitoring breaches are now compliant.
In a rare move last week, Minister Lynham used Parliamentary privilege to identify failures at Anglo’s Moranbah North and Grosvenor mines, and Glencore’s Oaky Creek and Oaky North mines.
He then threatened decisive action, including the possibility of shutting mines down.
“Any failure to meet dust monitoring obligations is, in my opinion, a demonstration that there is a serious issue with the safety and health management systems at these mines,” Dr Lynham told Parliament.
“Under the Act, the inspectors can require a full and independent audit of the mine’s safety and health management system instructions, or prosecute or close the mine.
“Based on our knowledge of diseases caused by coal dust, it is my view that any failure to comply reflects a gross disregard of an operator’s obligations to protect their workforce,” he said.
While Glencore has yet to respond to the investigations, Anglo American released a short statement saying they take the breaches seriously.
“As a company, we are totally committed to the Recognized Standard for monitoring respirable dust monitoring in coal mines, which was recently introduced by the Queensland Government. “Our dust monitoring is carried out as a priority and is undertaken by independent and accredited testing organisations.
“The second quarter sampling targets of two AAMC mines did not fully comply with the new regulations, and we will work with the Queensland Government to urgently address the issue to ensure full compliance.
“We can confirm that during the same period, we undertook independent monitoring procedures to ensure that the health and safety of all employees and contractors was not compromised at all of our sites.”