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Glencore to Expand Controversial Mining Operations at McArthur River in Northern Territory

Mining News - Published on Fri, 23 Aug 2019

Image Source: AAP
The Guardian reported that Glencore has been given the green light to start work on its plans to vastly extend its controversial mining operations at McArthur River in the Northern Territory. The resource company, McArthur River Mine, has sought to extend its mining operation until 2048, which will add on a further 1,000 years of rehabilitation and monitoring. The mine, 1,000 kilometer from Darwin, has a potted history, with multiple allegations and instances of contamination of surrounding environment and mismanagement of toxic waste.

In December 2017, Guardian Australia revealed the company had accidentally dumped 63 truckloads of toxic waste near the river the previous year. The incident and the government’s investigation, which produced no report were kept out of the public eye.

Guardian Australia has sought further information about the investigation through freedom of information laws, but almost two years later later is yet to receive any documents, for reasons that include objections from MRM.

In 2013, the suburb-sized waste rock pile combusted, and the resulting fire burned for more than a year, sending toxic smoke into the atmosphere. The incident prompted the NT’s environment protection authority [NTEPA] to demand MRM redo its environmental impact statement if it wanted to extend its operation.

The NT minister for primary industry and resources, Paul Kirby, announced he had granted approval for an amendment to MRM’s mine management plan, “creating a pathway for the implementation of all 30 recommendations made by the [NTEPA]”.

The approval means that “under strict regulatory conditions” MRM can now start work on its overburden management project.

Kirby said that “Ongoing development of the mining industry in the Northern Territory is important. Our government expects it to be done in a sustainable and responsible manner, maximising economic benefits while focusing on minimising environmental impact.”

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Posted By : Sanju Moirangthem on Fri, 23 Aug 2019
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