Miner pleads guilty to environmental damage

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CopperCo has pled guilty to causing environmental harm following the uncontrolled release of contaminated water from the Lady Annie Mine in 2009.

During the 2009 wet season the mine’s stormwater ponds overflowed and released water into the surrounding creeks.

According to the North West Star the Department of Environment and Resource Management said CopperCo had already spent over $8 million cleaning up and rehabilitating the site 120km northwest of Mount Isa.

While the mine had planned to employ 150 workers and produce 19,000 to 25,000 tonnes a year, CopperCo sold it following the floods.

At the time CopperCo receivers Deloitte said the floods had “exceeded the design capacity of the site stormwater ponds”.

Deloitte said site remediation had commenced immediately after the floods occurred.

CST Mining Group now owns the Lady Annie mine and had a 2011 production target of 20,000 tonnes.

Earlier this year Industrea Mining Services won an extension to its equipment hire contract at Lady Annie.

The contract is worth $26.9 million and will see Industrea provide CST with machinery hire, servicing, and support for two years from February 2012.

CopperCo will be sentenced on February 10 next year at the Mount Isa Magistrates Court.

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