By Dr. Cameron Chai
A major beef company is suing Xstrata over alleged overflow of chemicals into waterways. The Stanbroke Pastoral Company has launched legal action against the Xstrata run Ernest Henry mine in northwest Queensland near Cloncurry.
The statement of claim lodged in the Brisbane Supreme Court demands nearly $2 million in damages for negligence. The company says that an overflow last year from storage structures on the copper-gold mine dumped pollutants in two creeks running through its adjacent paddocks.
The owners of Stanbroke say that they were not immediately informed about the overflow and now have lost substantial income by not being able to use these paddocks. No hearing date has been set as yet.
According to a spokesman for the Ernest Henry mine, a sum of $1.5 million has already been spent on remediating the affected area and upgrading the stormwater capacity on the mine site. Xstrata is also in trouble in Mount Isa where it is facing legal action over lead levels in children.