TerraCom defends Blair Athol coal authenticity

The Blair Athol site. Image: TerraCom

TerraCom has denied allegations that it was involved in a fake coal sampling investigation at the Blair Athol mine in Queensland, stating that they are an unfair reflection of TerraCom’s actions.

The investigation and subsequent 2020 court case centred on allegations that lab testing and certification company ALS had helped TerraCom to falsify its coal quality results to increase the coal’s worth.

As part of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)’s investigation, it has conducted an analysis of compliance at the mine with a timeframe from 2007 to 2020.

However, the Blair Athol coal mine has only been owned by TerraCom since 2017, with first coal exported in April 2018.

The two years’ worth of the investigation where TerraCom owned Blair Athol coal accounts for just 1 per cent of total coal exports from Blair Athol over the 13 year period.

TerraCom has argued that its exports were not substantial enough to bear the allegation.

TerraCom bought the mine from Rio Tinto via the former’s subsidiary Orion Mining after Rio had closed the mine and placed it under care and maintenance since 2012.

TerraCom now exports more than two million tonnes per annum from Blair Athol as a result of mine expansions performed over the course of its ownership.

The company had previously denied allegations regarding the fixing of coal certificates as the dates of the certificate adjustments did not imply that TerraCom was guilty.

TerraCom stated that it would continue to cooperate with ASIC, as required.

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