Chinese-owned mining companies could skip a $529 million bill for environmental damage caused by an iron ore mining project in Cape Preston, in WA’s Pilbara, a report from Clive Palmer’s mining company Mineralogy has found.
Mr Palmer signalled “urgent legal action” in the WA Supreme Court to halt mining at the Sino Iron and Korean Steel projects until environmental obligations were met.
Mineralogy was to act as trustee of the $529 million fund to ensure the site could be restored at the end of the mine’s estimated 25-year life. But it has commissioned from mining rehabilitation expert Mike Slight that it says confirms rehabilitation funds have gone unpaid.
Mr Palmer said Citic’s recent statement signalling it was considering abandoning the project meant the matter was now “pressing and urgent”. The project is now well into production phase and Mineralogy operations executive Nui Harris estimated it was causing more than $1 million in environmental damage per day of operations.
“Serious questions must be asked why foreign government-owned companies are being allowed to exploit the wealth of Australia unchecked,” he said.