JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Queensland has warned multinational miners Anglo American and Glencore about dust levels in their coal mines and has said that operations that fail to comply with legislation will be closed.
In a rare move, Queensland Mines Minister Anthony Lynham named the two companies in Parliament on Thursday evening.
Anglo American and Glencore have both issued statements acknowledging noncompliance at their mines.
Anglo American metallurgical coal CEO David Diamond said second-quarter sampling targets of two mines did not fully comply with the new regulations and said the group would work with the Queensland government to address the issue and 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 comprised at all of our sites,” he said.
Glencore confirmed that its Oaky Number 1 and Oaky North coal mines had failed to meet the required level of dust monitoring in the June quarter and said that it had started an investigation into the matter.
“We can confirm that for the current September quarter, both mines have completed dust sampling. We will work with the Queensland Mines Inspectorate to ensure this won’t happen again.”
Queensland has introduced reforms, including a recognised standard for dust monitoring in coal mines, to tackle coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, or black lung, as the number of cases of the disease have spiked in recent years.
In June, the Department of Natural Resources and Mines started publishing dust monitoring results from Queensland’s underground coal mines online, to improve transparency. However, legislation prevents specific mines being identified.