Thousands of tonnes of dangerous mining waste dumped in wrong place

An Australian mine owned by the global trading firm Glencore mistakenly dumped 63 truckloads of dangerous waste material in the wrong place, where it combusted and sent sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere.

The scale of the incident, which occurred at the remote McArthur river zinc-lead mine in Australia’s north, was kept out of the public eye. The Northern Territory government ordered an investigation but refuses to release any details, claiming no report exists because the findings were delivered verbally.

The 63 truckloads of reactive rock – known as potentially acid-forming (PAF) rock – were never removed. Observers have expressed concern that even with the remedial work since carried out by the company, the approaching monsoons could cause another chemical reaction.

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Courtesy: The Guardian