Glencore reveals deaths of 56 miners in three years


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The Independent Online

A mining company has admitted it has suffered 56 fatalities in three years.

Glencore revealed the deaths – 18 of them in 2010 – alongside figures showing that last year 278 of the company's workers had reported occupational illnesses including respiratory conditions and hearing impairments.

On the deaths, it said in a sustainability report published yesterday: "The loss of any life is a tragedy. We are committed to eliminating fatalities as well as any other injuries.

"Our ultimate aim is to achieve a zero-harm operation."

The company came under fire earlier this year when as part of its flotation prospectus it accepted that cases of environmental pollution it was reponsible for were serious enough that "reputation and shareholder value could be damaged".

It further revealed that in 2010 it incurred "four significant environmental fines" totalling £488,000.

The report also showed Glencore used 57,000 tonnes of explosives during 2010, 100,000 tonnes of fertilizer – an important contributor to greenhouse gas levels – and 300m cubic metres of water, the equivalent of emptying 120,000 Olympic swimming pools.

Glencore, based in Switzerland, floated on the London Stock Exchange earlier this year, making instant million – or billionnaires – of many of its executives and becoming the first company in 25 years to go straight into the FTSE 100. It operates in 30 countries and has 57,000 employees.