Media release

Glencore making a mockery of its coal commitment

Today the Queensland Government granted Glencore’s Valeria coal mine project special status, bringing the assessment of the mine under the state’s Coordinator-General. The mine is expected to produce 20 million tonnes of coal (mixed metallurgical and thermal) annually for 35 years.

In February 2019, Glencore committed to limit coal production to 150 million tonnes p.a., in response to pressure from investors on its approach to climate change.

Glencore’s expanded United Wambo mine in the Hunter Valley was approved in August last year. It is expected to produce 150 million tonnes over 23 years, or 6.5 million tonnes p.a.

Glencore is also looking to expand production by 5.5 million tonnes p.a. from its Glendell coal mine.

Glencore’s update to investors in December showed its production in 2019 was 140 million tonnes.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Dan Gocher, Director of Climate and Environment, said:

“Glencore is making an absolute mockery of its commitment to shareholders to cap coal production at 150 million tonnes per year. Its new and expanded Australian coal mines will push its production well above 160 million tonnes.”

“Since making the commitment, Glencore has had its United Wambo mine expansion approved, and now this important step for its Valeria mine. Production from these two mines will push Glencore’s coal production well over its promised cap.”

“This is just the latest piece of evidence demonstrating that Glencore is an enemy of a safe climate. Glencore has a history of funding climate wreckers through its longstanding membership of the Minerals Council of Australia, the NSW Minerals Council and the Queensland Resources Council. From 2017 to 2019, Glencore bankrolled ‘Project Caesar,’ “a secret, globally coordinated campaign to prop up coal demand by undermining environmental activists, influencing politicians and spreading sophisticated pro-coal messaging on social media.”

“In 2019, on the same day the Bylong coal mine was rejected by the Independent Planning Commission, Glencore executives joined Peabody Energy and the NSW Minerals Council in meeting with NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes. Days later, the NSW Minerals Council launched an advertising campaign attacking the IPC. This company is utterly shameless.”

“Glencore is a key target of the Climate Action 100 (CA100) initiative. Glencore’s Valeria coal mine plan is plainly inconsistent with the cap that CA100 investors negotiated last year, to much fanfare. Whether CA100 is able to stand up to this latest defiance is a huge test for the initiative.

“Earlier this month at its AGM, every director of Glencore was re-elected with more than 93% support. This is a company whose strategy and behaviours are fundamentally at odds with the Paris Agreement, yet investors inexplicably continue to endorse its leadership.”

Contact: Dan Gocher | | +61 410 550 337