Glencore, Anglo escape mine closures over dust levels

Queensland coal mines operated by Glencore and Anglo American will not be closed despite failing to comply with dust monitoring laws.

The Queensland Mines Inspectorate launched an investigation into Glencore’s Oaky North and Oaky No. 1 mines and Anglo American’s Moranbah North and Grosvenor operations last week due to high dust levels.

Both companies had until yesterday to address the concerns by submitting evidence to the inspectorate that they have implemented dust monitoring plans to meet state regulations.

The Queensland Mines Inspectorate said both operators had achieved this by the cut-off date and the mines would not be closed.

“We are satisfied that all four of the mines have now satisfied the requirements under the safety and health directives issued to them last Friday 11 August,” the Queensland Mines Inspectorate said.

“The directives required each mine to review and address deficiencies in their safety and health management systems to ensure compliance with dust monitoring laws and prevent recurrence.”

Queensland has seen a resurgence in cases of the black lung dust disease over the past year, with at least 23 confirmed cases.

A Queensland Parliamentary Inquiry described the resurgence of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis as a ‘catastrophic failure’ in the regulatory system designed to protect mine workers against the disease.

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