Xstrata breathes easy in Mt Isa

Further tests have found that Xstrata did not exceed legal lead levels at its operations in Mt Isa.

Further investigation has found that Xstrata Mt Isa Mines did not exceed legal lead levels in the final quarter of last year.

Queensland’s Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) last night confirmed that Mount Isa residents were not exposed to excessive levels of lead in the air by Xstrata’s operations.

State Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Kate Jones said that the reports given to her saying that Xstrata had exceeded regulatory limits of lead in the area were incorrect.

“A DERM air quality expert has closely examined the Xstrata data and is satisfied there had been a reporting error and no breach,” she said.

“I am advised that a change in Xstrata’s laboratory service provider led to an over-calculation of their results.”

The Queensland Government will no longer go ahead with planned legal action against Xstrata, which maintained from the time the initial findings were made public that the reading was a technical anomaly.

“We could see from the outset that the initial laboratory results required further examination, which is why we launched an immediate investigation and advised DERM,” Xstrata Copper North Queensland chief operating officer Steve de Kruijff said.

Jones said that Xstrata has also agreed today to make changes to its systems to prevent ant further misreporting of data.

“Xstrata has undertaken to update and improve its data monitoring and reporting procedures and to be more timely in reporting its data to DERM,” she said.

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