Senator Waters seeks assurance on Callide mine sale

AUSTRALIAN Greens Deputy Leader Larissa Waters said the Queensland Government must make sure Anglo American does not dodge its responsibility to provide central Queensland jobs by selling its unprofitable Callide coal mine to shelf company Batchfire.

Senator Waters said Anglo American had agreed to sell its mine to a company which had raised $750,000 from investors.

"We can't let Anglo American dodge its responsibilities to provide local rehabilitation jobs by selling its mine to a shelf company with next-to-no assets without adequate security," she said.

"The Queensland Audit Office has found that the State Government has a terrible track record in collecting enough money upfront to cover the cost of worker's rehabilitating the sites of resource projects.

"Recently it was revealed that no bond was collected for the Queensland Nickel Refinery, which faces an uncertain future and sits one kilometre from the waters of the Great Barrier Reef.

"By making sure rehabilitation bonds have been paid before resource companies go bust, State Governments will be able to properly restore the environment and immediately create new local jobs in rehabilitation."

A spokesman from Anglo American hit back at Ms Waters, and said the company had always honoured its legal obligations for its mining operations, and would continue to do so throughout any sale process.

"It is inappropriate to link the sale of Anglo American's Callide mine with the Queensland Nickel Refinery," the spokesman said.

"All mining operations in Queensland are required to have a Plan of Operation, which details the liabilities for rehabilitation, and is approved and lodged with the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection."

The spokesman said under the Plan of Operation, the liability to rehabilitate the mine was calculated, and provisions for the financial cost were made through bank bonds or bank guarantees.

"Anglo American has always had the appropriate bank guarantees in place."

Topics:  anglo american callide mine environment larissa waters mining

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