Katter challenges Glencore on its future in Queensland

As GlencoreXstrata’s copper operations in Queensland’s north west remain under review, Federal MP Bob Katter is demanding answers from the multi-national miner on possible job losses and the future of its mines.

Shortly after its merger with Xstrata, Glencore reviewed operations, resulting in mining developments being halted and job losses.

Earlier this year the miner decided to dump the second phase of its $47 million expansion feasibility study for the Mount Isa operation: a project which would have extended the life of the mine by twenty to thirty years.

And with work now suspended on four of the five open pits at the company’s Mount Margaret operations, Katter said he would initiate discussions with the miner next week.

Katter called for the company to be more transparent about their plans for operations at both Mount Isa Mines and Ernest Henry at Cloncurry, The North West Star reported.

''The people deserve to be in the know,'' Katter said.

''We will go as a collective and we're well within our right to demand a meeting [with Glencore Xstrata executives] about the future.

''The laws of Queensland state that you have to use or lose it You can't just sit on an ore body.'' 

Katter said statements from the company like “operations are under review”, were not good enough.

''These questions need answers,'' he said.

''People are entitled to know whether they should move to the Isa, expand their business or detract their business,'' he said.

''We won't bury our head in the sand, we need to look at reality and act with considerable force if needed.'' 

A GlencoreXstrata spokesperson said internal communications with its workers had been ongoing.

''Communication with our people has been our priority,'' the spokesperson said.

''We have remained transparent in communicating decisions as they are made to our employees and ensuring adequate support is available to them.''

The spokesperson confirmed reviews of North Queensland Copper operations were still ongoing while also stating the suspension of development activities at Mount Margaret has had “some impacts to a few contractors working at our site”.

The spokesperson said an in-depth technical review was being undertaken as the pits were more complex than initial modelling predicted.

This is not the first time Katter has stuck the boot into Glencore, with the Independent MP making calls similar calls in July by claiming the company may be breaking Queensland mining laws.

"The mining laws in Queensland say you can't sit on ore body and not use it. You either work it or get the hell off it," he said at the time.

Katter said he would contact State Member for Mount Isa Rob Katter and Mount Isa mayor Tony McGrady before approaching the mine about future of operations in Mount Isa.

A Mount Isa Mines spokesperson said the company regularly met with government representatives across all three levels who have an interest in its operations, project developments and the resource industry in general.


Send this to a friend