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Glencore, Anglo American warned over dust level breaches at coal mines

Glencore Plc and Anglo American Plc have been warned by the Australian state of Queensland over possible breaches of dust levels at four coal mines, the Australian Associated Press reported Aug. 11.

The operations include Glencore's Oaky North and Oaky No. 1 mine and Anglo's Moranbah North and Grosvenor mines.

Queensland Mines Minister Anthony Lynham warned the companies could face prosecution or suspension of operations for failing to properly monitor dust levels at the four underground coal mines.

The monitoring failures, over procedures which were designed to protect workers from diseases such as black lung, allegedly occurred during the second quarter, Lynham told the Parliament. The minister said it reflected a gross disregard of an operator's obligations to protect their workforce.

The companies will be issued directives from the Queensland state mines inspectorate for the potential safety failures. "Under the act, the inspectors can require a full and independent audit of the mines' safety and health management system instructions, or prosecute the mine, or close the mine," the minister was quoted as saying.

The Queensland government launched new health and safety reforms to protect coal miners from black lung disease in January.