New Zealand coal mine ‘a nightmare’ for workers and environment
Coal mining in New Zealand has become a nightmare for workers, environmentalists and the environment, with thousands of tons of slag from a mine in Southland being dumped into the Pacific Ocean each year.
New Zealand’s National Mining Safety Board (NMFSB) found the mine’s operator, Nucor, had “failed to take appropriate safety measures” and was “in breach of safety and environmental obligations” under the Clean Air Act.
The findings will set the stage for a $4.3 million civil lawsuit against Nucar by a number of mining companies, including the mine owner, the Government and local residents.
More than 600 workers have been exposed to the toxic slag over the years, according to the Nucaorda Mine, which operates in the Southland.
In 2015, the mining company paid a $9 million penalty to the NSW Government for its failure to implement “adequate” safety measures, including installing a ventilator system, to prevent the release of toxic slags into the ocean.
“The company was required to pay for a ventilation system and there was no ventilating system at the site,” Nucora said.
Nucora, which has since closed, is one of the largest mining companies in New South Wales and has been in administration since 2016. “
The company also failed to provide any remediation to the site.
Nucora, which has since closed, is one of the largest mining companies in New South Wales and has been in administration since 2016.
As the lead plaintiff in the civil lawsuit, environmental group Beyond Coal, said: “It’s been a nightmare.”
The $4 million lawsuit is part of the legal action against Nuccor by the NSW Department of Primary Industries, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, the Australian Greens and environmental groups.
NSW Attorney-General Peter Dunne said the Government had “committed to fully co-operating” with the investigation.
A spokesman for NSW’s Department of Environment and Heritage said the department had conducted a thorough review of the mine and “is confident the company’s compliance with environmental obligations is satisfactory”.
NUCOR said the slag “is not a significant threat to health or the environment”.”
The slag is a non-hazardous material and the slags are transported to the mine site, where they are cleaned, sanitised and disposed of safely,” the company said in a statement.”
Nucor has taken every precaution to ensure that all mining activities in the area are safe and responsible.
This includes ensuring that the site is cleaned up properly.
All mining operations are monitored for hazardous materials and the safety of all staff is maintained at all times.
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