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Anglo’s Foxleigh mine sale another reason to act on rehab, despite mining lobby’s squeals

Media Release
Larissa Waters 6 Apr 2016

Reports that Anglo American is selling the Foxleigh coal mine at Middlemount to Sydney's Taurus Fund Management is more evidence of the need for the Chain of Responsibility Bill, as well as broader reforms.   

Qld Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and mining spokesperson, said:

"It has already taken too long for the state government to put forward laws to stop taxpayers footing the bill to clean up mess left by big mining companies.  

"Now the Queensland Resources Council is pushing the government to delay its Bill, blatantly putting its big company members ahead of Queenslanders.

"Company after company is selling Queensland coal mines to small, relatively unknown players trying to dodge responsibility for funding jobs in rehabilitation.

 "The latest example of why these laws are desperately needed and long overdue is Anglo American's plans to sell the Foxleigh mine at Middlemount, which local conservationists have raised serious concerns about.

"The State Government may not have collected enough money from Anglo American in an upfront bond to cover rehabilitation if the mine closes and the new owners may not be able to cover the true costs.  

"The State Government's Bill is a good start, but it doesn't fix the problem that rehabilitation bonds for coal mines across Queensland are inadequate. 

"We need to go further to make sure the government has collected adequate rehabilitation bonds from mining companies in the first place.  That's why the Greens proposed a national audit and Mining Trust Fund in September 2015. 

"According to the Queensland Audit Office, the mining rehabilitation bonds held by the Queensland Government are inadequate.

"With sufficient rehabilitation bonds in place, as coal mines close due to the global transition to clean energy, the bonds can pay wages for local jobs in rehabilitation, in addition to the jobs that will flow if we embrace clean energy.

The Greens have proposed a national audit of coal mines to assess the true cost of rehabilitation, and a national Mining Trust Fund paid for by mining companies to secure rehabilitation jobs: http://greens.org.au/after-coal

 

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