Xstrata’s Mt Isa mine tops toxic emissions report

This ABC story is not about the McArthur River Mine, but it lets you see the environmental credentials  of the company who believes they can divert a river, in what John Howard calls an “environmentally sustainable fashion”. 


New figures show Xstrata’s Mount Isa mine is emitting a cocktail of toxic emissions higher than any other mine in the country.

The National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) annual report reveals high emissions in Mount Isa for antimony, arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, sulphur dioxide and zinc.

Environmental Protection Agency director Peter Thorning says levels need to be carefully managed.

“Any high emission reports on the national pollution inventory warrant further concern,” he said.

All seven compounds appear on the NPI’s list of toxic chemicals.

Elizabeth O’Brien from the Global Lead Advice Support Service says earlier reports show similar results.

“There’s really a need to do something about that, it just isn’t good enough to keep going as the highest emitter,” she said.

Xstrata spokesman Ed Turley says the Swiss mining giant is operating within environmental limits.

“Mount Isa Mines is meeting its licence requirements for emissions measured in the community,” he said.

“We believe the risks are being adequately managed and we’re in regular contact with the EPA.”


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