Miller Argent Response to Media Coverage of United Nations Report
Following the release of the United Nations Report, we are disappointed that the author of this report, Mr Baskut Tuncak, did not contact Miller Argent before publishing his paper, which contains misleading and unsubstantiated allegations against our company.
In addition to his claims against Ffos-y-fran with regards to air quality, Mr Tuncak’s report also states that access to legal representation for complainants is “impossible” – this is simply not true. Complainants against Ffos-y-fran were able to take their claims all the way to the Supreme Court, where they subsequently lost their case.
Miller Argent is committed to responsible mining operations and strives to be a good neighbour. As part of our daily operations we implement a wide range of dust management measures and undertake continual air quality checks. In addition to this we continually monitor our site for noise, dust, and water quality.
We would like to reassure the community of Merthyr Tydfil that our operations fall well within the air quality limits set against us by Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Councils Environmental Health Department in full accordance with National Air Quality Objectives.
We work closely with environmental regulator Natural Resources Wales and the councils Environmental Health Department who continuously monitor the sites impact on (among a wide range of operational conditions) local air quality.
An independent report by Social Science and Medicine showed there is no link between opencast mining operations and asthma. According to research by the Public Health Observatory, the asthma rates in Merthyr Tydfil are, in fact, comparable to rest of Wales.
Should the government wish to commission further health studies, Miller Argent would be more than happy to co-operate in any way necessary.
The ongoing and progressive land reclamation work undertaken at Ffos-y-fran is supervised by both the local authority and the Welsh Government who have congratulated us on the positive work we are carrying out. To date we have already restored thirty two hectares of the mine which has been returned to grazing.
On completion of our reclamation work, we will return the site to the community of Merthyr Tydfil in a far better condition than it was when work commenced where it was littered with dangerous mine shafts, derelict ground and extensive fly tipping. The excellent progressive restoration work being carried out by Miller Argent is testament of our commitment to the community.
In addition to our commitment to responsible mining operations, we provide over 200 well paid jobs to local workers. The community also benefits through the Ffos-y-fran Community Benefit fund which has contributed over six million pounds to implement various improvements to Merthyr town and to help local community groups.