Mining giant Glencore wants to expand open-cut coal mining in the Hunter Valley despite objections from the Plains Clan of the Wonnarua People and the New South Wales Heritage Council. Jim McIlroy reports.
Days after Glencore, the largest mining company in the world, announced an annual cap on thermal coal, details of its well-funded pro-coal campaign emerged.
Anti-coal campaigners have demanded reforms to limit the abuse of money politics.
The synergy of China appearing to restrict the import of Australian coal with the world’s largest coal exporter and commodity trader Glencore capping production to current levels has been heralded by many as a victory for the movement for action on climate change. While significant, these decisions could owe as much to the operation of market forces and geopolitics as to a desire to comply with the Paris climate accords.
The Australian operations of mining giant Glencore have been implicated in the Paradise Papers revelations – the largest leak of documents in history.
The Paradise Papers show that Glencore was involved in currency swaps of up to $25 billion between the Bermuda-based and Australian-based arms of its company.
While theoretically "legal”, these types of swaps are being investigated by the Australian Tax Office under suspicion they may be used to avoid tax by shuttling interest payments from high-tax nations to low-tax jurisdictions.
About 190 Oaky North miners were locked out of their workplace in the Bowen Basin west of Rockhampton on August 4 for a third consecutive eight-day period. It was the fourth time the workers had been locked out since June by Anglo-Swiss mining giant Glencore, which the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) suspects of trying to replace the permanent workforce with contractors.