Xstrata plays down lead level study fears

Same company, same response as McArthur River

Step 1, don’t release critical information to the public

Step 2,play down event, ie its not really ‘that’ harmful

Step 3,critcise anyone who dares to raise concerns

Step 4, blame it on background levels of heavy metals (repeat step 1)

Step 5, get pro-business lobby/government to talk to the media, emphasisingthe key message – ie minimalising risks to environment/human health and to talk about the need for industry…

Step 6, find a new site, a new river, a new population and do it all over again

Xstrata used the same method for McArthur River and the NT Government played their role, despite serious environmental and human health concerns.

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from the ABC –Swiss mining giant Xstrata has dismissed concerns over a new report that shows high lead levels in Mount Isa, in north-west Queensland, saying lead already occurs naturally in the soil.

Dr Mark Taylor from Macquarie University in Sydney has released the results of a study that shows soil lead levels are 30 times above federal guidelines.

But Xstrata spokesman Ed Turley says academic surveys should include information on natural formations. “There’s already extensive natural sources of heavy metals in Mount Isa due to the levels of natural mineralisation,” he said.

While Xstrata says the new data does not take into account the high level of natural mineralisation in the soil, Dr Taylor says he has been unable to get access to the company’s in-house research.

“So I rang up the mine and asked for some of their information – that really didn’t get me very far,” he said.

fullstory from the ABC…

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