MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Update on 21/12/01

Published by MAC on 2001-12-18

Update on 21/12/01

The Victorian Supreme Court, In Melbourne, Australia, today (21/12/01) decided that the company had a serious breach of agreement case to answer (arising from claims by 30,000 Western Province landowners that it has failed to undertake environmental remediations required in a 1995 agreement), and that the full case will commence on February 11th, 2002.

In the meantime an injunction on BHP and OTML's attempts to get landowners to sign Mine Continuation Agreements (MCAs) should be extended until February.

The MCAs are, in effect, opt-out agreements whereby landowners are convinced to withdraw legal action against the mine operators and BHP, and agree for the mine to continue operations.

OTML will have to cease collecting these agreements and cannot use the fact that MCAs have been signed as an inducement to get new people to opt out.

BHP Billiton had hoped to be out of the mine by Jan 1st.

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