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Anglo boss speaks out amidst threats to shut down mines

Four sites have been accused of endangering the lives of their workers following alleged breaches of dust limit laws.
Four sites have been accused of endangering the lives of their workers following alleged breaches of dust limit laws. Colette Landolt

A MINING giant boss today hit back at revelations two of their Central Queensland mines could be shut down amidst accusations they had endangered workers' health.

Anglo American Metallurgical Coal's (AAMC) Moranbah North and Grosvenor mines were among four underground sites which allegedly failed their dust monitoring obligations in this year's second quarter.

READ | Up to four Queensland coal mines could be shut down

The news broke yesterday after State Mines Minister Anthony Lynham used parliamentary privilege to name the two sites, alongside Glencore's Oaky North and Oaky No.1.

But Anglo CEO David Diamond today said the company's number-one priority is the safety of its employees.

"As a company we are totally committed to the Recognized Standard for monitoring respirable dust monitoring in coal mines, which was recently introduced by the Queensland Government," he said today.

"Our dust monitoring is carried out as a priority and is undertaken by independent and accredited testing organisations.

"The second quarter sampling targets of two AAMC mines did not fully complied with the new regulations."

The four alleged breaches are the first under a tough, new regime to tackle the re-emergence of the deadly black lung disease.

Mines Minister Anthony Lynham has slammed four underground sites for their alleged failure to meet dust limit laws.
Mines Minister Anthony Lynham has slammed four underground sites for their alleged failure to meet dust limit laws. Jacob Miley

Dr Lynam said while the "levels of non-compliance vary", he viewed any failure to meet safety and health obligations as "unacceptable".

"However in my view, any failure to meet their safety and health obligation is not acceptable," he said.

Mr Diamond assured Anglo would work with the Queensland Government to "urgently address the issue and to ensure full compliance".

"We can confirm that during the same period, we undertook independent monitoring procedures to ensure that the health and safety of all employees and contractors was not comprised at all of our sites," he said.

"We acknowledge the work the Queensland Government has undertaken in improving dust management across the industry and in particular, Minister Lynham's commitment to this important work.

"As a Company we will ensure that all of our mines are totally compliant to the Recognized Standard for monitoring respirable dust monitoring in coal mines."

Topics:  anglo american anthony lynham black lung crime dust editors picks law mining

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