MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Xstrata in bad straits

Published by MAC on 2006-06-22


Xstrata in bad straits

22nd June 2006

The UK-Swiss giant, Xstrata, has been accused of emitting unacceptable levels of lead into the air from its Queensland smelter in Australia, thus endangering children's health. The company counter-claims that it's been monitoring the emissions at a "higher" level than government standards, although it admits that there's always a "small risk" attached to its operations.

But now a former senior manager at the nation's Environmental Protection Agency claims that the Queensland government connived with industry to lower the standards, with Xstrata as a beneficiary of the subterfuge.

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