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Mount Isa contamination ‘within guidelines’ but residents told to clean their homes

Mark Patrick Taylor and colleagues write in The Conversation (21.2.17) that Anglo-Swiss mining company Glencore has admitted responsibility for air pollution in Mount Isa, but its latest report puts the onus on residents to minimise their exposure to lead contamination in their homes.

‘After an 11-year wait, Mount Isa Mines has released the official report into the lead contamination that has blighted the city for decades.

‘The report, commissioned by the mine’s owner, Glencore, and produced by researchers at the University of Queensland, says that household dust contaminated by airborne lead from the mining and smelting operations is the dominant source of the city’s exposure.

‘In some aspects this marks an important shift in the industry’s acceptance of the problem. Yet the report goes on to argue that Mount Isa residents are nevertheless responsible for keeping themselves, their houses and their children free from dust, thus putting the onus back on them to avoid exposure to the contamination.

‘This is the latest iteration in the decade-long evolution of Mount Isa Mines’ arguments rebutting research that linked the contamination to its mining and smelting operations.’

Queensland laws passed ‘to end Glencore, QCoal mine dispute’

The ABC’s Gail Burke reports (24.3.17) on new laws passed through State Parliament which allow the mining operations of Swiss multinational, Glencore, to continue in the Bowen Basin.

‘Hundreds of mining jobs have been saved by new laws rushed through Queensland Parliament, the Palaszczuk Government says, but a mine owner is adamant they reward a multinational company that has done the wrong thing for more than a decade.

‘The changes allow Swiss miner Glencore to truck its coal from the Suttor Creek mine over land it allegedly did not have tenure to use in the Bowen Basin.

‘Queensland company QCoal lodged a Crime and Corruption Commission complaint last week that alleged senior Department of Natural Resources and Mines staff had acted corruptly by not prosecuting Glencore over the activity.’

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