Glencore Expands Coal Mining in an Australian Methane Hotspot – by Aaron Clark (Bloomberg News – July 13, 2022)

Glencore Plc is expanding a coal mine that scientists have estimated leaks so much planet-wrecking methane each year it has the same warming impact as the annual emissions from millions of cars.

New activity at the Hail Creek Mine involves digging up coal from gas-rich seams through surface mining — an approach for which the company has said there’s no reliable way to halt fugitive methane from escaping during operation.

Steep declines in the dirtiest fossil fuel are needed to meet global climate goals, and activists argue curbs should prioritize the worst methane-spewing mines.

“If coal mining companies continue to argue that fugitive methane management is too hard for open-cut coal mines, then the obvious and material solution is to cease opening new mines,” said Naomi Hogan, strategic projects lead with Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility Inc. “And for the known very gassy mines to seriously consider early closure options.”

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