MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Xstrata Defends Level of Smelter Emissions Testing in Australia

Published by MAC on 2006-06-21

Xstrata Defends Level of Smelter Emissions Testing in Australia

Bloomberg

21st June 2006

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000085&sid=aLF7qqzpQXWk&refer=europe

Xstrata Plc, which owns the world's largest zinc smelter, said it monitors the environmental impact of its two smelters in Australia's Queensland state at a higher level than government standards.

``There are 15 monitoring stations located in the community,'' Kevin Hendry, Xstrata Zinc's general manager said in an e-mailed statement today. ``Monitoring is conducted in accordance with the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission standard. Xstrata sets its medical removal limit below this standard.''

Hendry made the statement after the Australian newspaper cited Tim Powe, a project manager at the state Environment Protection Agency, as saying the smelters at Mount Isa are not being monitored enough for their emissions.

The smelters at Mt. Isa, bought by Xstrata in 2004, released 290 tons of lead into the air in 2004-05, the Australian said. A lead smelter in South Australia emitted 47 tons, and testing there showed nearly 60 percent of children have unsafe blood lead levels, the paper said.

``Investment in new plant and technology has seen an almost 50 percent reduction in emissions in Mt. Isa since 2001,'' Hendry said.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Paul Waide in Melbourne at pwaide@bloomberg.net

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