Shree Minerals cannot be trusted given its denial last month, when company leaks of these plans surfaced, that it had made any decision to halt production at its controversial Nelson Bay River iron ore mine in June, Greens Leader and Mining spokesperson Kim Booth said today.
“On Friday the 23rd of May, the Greens called on the company to come clean about any plans to halt production at Nelson River in June, raising concerns over job losses and the lack of any enforceable site rehabilitation plan. These concerns were fobbed off at the time,” Mr Booth said.
“Now Tasmanians discover that the situation we warned of in May has eventuated.”
“Despite Shree Minerals telling local media outlets in May that ‘it has not made any decision to halt production,’ barely weeks into June we see production cease, and most jobs which were predominantly contractor, gone.”
“This raises serious concerns about the company’s commitment to Tasmania, and particularly its commitment to rehabilitating its open cut site should the iron ore market not recover and this temporary shutdown becomes permanent.”
“Under the current permit conditions Shree is not required to submit rehabilitation and closure plans until one year after mining commenced. Six months later and production has ceased with no recommencement date fixed.”
“Shree Minerals owes the Tasmanian taxpayer to be upfront and transparent about its real operational intentions. The fact is this company is only operating here due to public largesse, and the public deserve some straight answers.”
“This company is currently not paying mining royalties as Labor, cheered on by the Liberal Party at the time, provided a mining royalty holiday to Shree. Its permit conditions have been watered down by both Federal and State authorities to give Shree a leg up, and nor does it have to provide a rehabilitation plan despite the risk of acid drainage.”
“Yet apparently it is OK for Shree Minerals to deceive the public about its operational status as it did three weeks ago when we warned it intended to shut down operations in June.”
“This deceitful double-speak is unacceptable, and just goes to show this company is not to be trusted with its false promises of employment, nor can it be trusted with the health of our environment,” Mr Booth said.