If you don’t want to mine it, move over so somebody else can. That’s the message from Bob Katter who plans to challenge Xstrata’s claim to copper at Mount Isa Mines.
Katter announced plans to approach the miner about the future of operations after Glencore Xstrata decided not to go ahead with the second phase of their $47 million expansion feasibility study.
The proposed expansion was set to extend the life of existing Mount Isa operations by twenty to thirty years past the current mine life date of 2021.
Katter claims Xstrata may be breaking Queensland mining laws, North West Star reported.
"The mining laws in Queensland say you can't sit on ore body and not use it. You either work it or get the hell off it," he said.
Katter said he would contact State Member for Mount Isa Rob Katter and Mount Isa mayor Tony McGrady before approaching the mine about the future of operations in Mount Isa.
Mount Isa mayor Tony McGrady said he had great relationship with management of Xstrata and Glencore and had no doubt the future of the city remained in safe hands.
McGrady said if he had major concerns he would address the company but was happy to meet with the State and Federal MPs for Mount Isa.
A Mount Isa Mines spokesperson said the company regularly met with government representatives across all three of government who have an interest in its operations, project developments and the resource industry in general.
Shortly after its merger with Xstrata, Glencore reviewed operations, resulting in mining developments being halting and job losses.
In Queensland the company dumped plans to develop a billion dollar coal export terminal on Balaclava Island, blaming the decision on poor market conditions.
While last week the mining giant announced 450 people from Newlands and Oaky Creek mines lose their jobs by the end of 2013.
Glencore merged with Xstrata in April in a $US34 billion all-share acquisition deal making it the biggest mining company in the world.
Glencore chief Ivan Glasenberg recently schooled miners on the theory of supply and demand, saying the industry had been saturated with new mines that lead to a surplus in metals and shrinking profits.
“We've always been wanting to keep building and keep putting the cash which we generate into new assets. That's what we've got to stop doing as a mining industry. We've got to learn about demand and supply,” he said.
Glasenberg argued that stalling the development of new mines will help prolong higher commodity prices.