Tight lipped copper miner risks social licence

Following three deaths at the Mt Lyell mine in Tasmania in the space of six weeks, questions over the Indian owned operation’s social licence to operate are mounting.

West Coast Deputy Mayor Peter Reid told Australian Mining the lack of communication from the operation’s owner Copper Mines of Tasmania is a cause of concern amongst the local community.

“No one knows what’s going on,” he said.

“They’ve been fairly quiet with communications and people are wondering.”

He explained there are a number of rumours circulating around the town and fears that by keeping tight lipped those rumours and uncertainty will continue to grow.

He added that by not saying anything substantial he worries safety issues at the mine will not be properly addressed and the company will risk its social licence to operate.

About 300 people are employed at the site by Copper mines of Tasmania and its underground contractor Barminco.

Works at the mine remain on hold as Tasmanian police, the coroner, Worksafe, and joint CMT-Barminco investigations continue.

Earlier this week CMT general manager Scot Clyde said only essential maintenance and risk assessment work is being conducted on site and a number of employees have elected to take annual leave.

 “Nevertheless, we are aware of concerns and rumours circulating among our employees and in the community about the future operation of the mine,” Clyde said.

 “We understand it is a very difficult, stressful and worrying time for everyone and will do our utmost to provide some clarity as soon as we are able.”

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.