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Legal action likely for mining giant over lea -

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VIRGINIA TRIOLI: The mining giant Xstrata is facing the prospect of legal action over emissions
from the company's lead processing plant at Mount Isa in Queensland.

One woman is so worried about the impact on her daughter's health, she's asked lawyers to prepare a
case against the company.

The mine operator says lead emissions are within Government standards. But the ABC understands a
Health Department report due out within weeks will confirm that 10 per cent of children there have
lead levels above world health standards.

Mark Willacy reports.

MARK WILLACY: After six years in Mount Isa, Bonnie Hare is leaving town.

BONNIE HARE, MT ISA RESIDENT: It is quite sad, but I have to do it because my daughter's my whole

MARK WILLACY: Bonnie Hare's daughter, Stella, has recorded lead levels in her blood nearly twice
the recommended limit. Her mother believes that's triggered the six-year-old's learning and
behavioural problems. And she blames the Mount Isa mine and its owner Xstrata.

BONNIE HARE: These kids are getting sick and I would like to see this stop.

MARK WILLACY: Ms Hare has instructed her lawyers to prepare a test case.

DAMIEN SCATTINI, LAWYER: The poorest person in the country can say to a mining giant, 'I want to
see you in court. You come and answer my case'. And that's what's gonna happen.

MARK WILLACY: Within weeks, Queensland Health will release a report into the blood testing of 400
children in Mt Isa. Preliminary results reveal that 11 per cent of those tested have blood lead
levels above the World Health Organisation limit.

Xstrata acknowledges that it is the nation's top emitters or arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, sulfur
dioxide and zinc. But the company says it is reducing its pollution output, installing monitors
around the city to help protect Mount Isa residents and to keep its emissions well within

The company's environment manager says the town is built on natural deposits of lead and that the
mine's emissions are within state and national guidelines. But residents can take steps to minimise
their exposure.

ED TURLEY, XSTRATA ENVIRONMENT MANAGER: And that's through maintaining a good level of hygiene,
ensuring that your backyard has grass on it and that you don't let dogs inside the house.

MARK WILLACY: For Bonnie Hare, getting out of Mt Isa is the only way to remove the lead from her
daughter's system.

BONNIE HARE: If I had known my daughter was going to get all this, I would never have came here.
And I'm not feeling really great as a mother for doing that.

MARK WILLACY: Xstrata says its number one priority is the health and safety of its workers and the
community, adding that it's unaware of any looming legal action.

Mark Willacy, Lateline.