BHP’s toxic sludge under attack

BHP Billiton may have to conduct an environmental assessment for dredging work near one of its former Newcastle sites, after under-estimating the amount of toxic sludge.

BHP Billiton may have to conduct an environmental assessment for dredging work near one of its former Newcastle sites, after under-estimating the amount of toxic sludge.

The miner announced they would spend an extra $780 million on toxic waste dredging in the Hunter River and other work at the steelwork site in the New South Wales Hunter region.

There has been a major push for development on the former Newcastle steelworks site since it was closed a decade ago.

The New South Wales Government forced BHP Billiton to remediate the land once it shut down and the company has already spent millions of dollars on a range of projects.

In its results for the six months to December, BHP yesterday said it had set aside an extra $US508 million for work at the site.

According to the company, after under-estimating the volume of toxic sediment in the Hunter River the cost of treating toxic waste has also risen.

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