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Qld mine bosses could face jail for deaths

Mining bosses could face up to 20 years behind bars for the onsite death of a worker under a new law to come before Queensland parliament.

The proposed legislation comes amid mounting pressure to address mine safety after another employee was killed on Monday.

Ipswich man Brad Duxbury, 57, died at the Carborough Downs mine site in central Queensland on Monday night.

It's the fifth mining death in the past 18 months, along with the deaths of two quarry workers.

New legislation holding mining bosses and the companies they work for criminally responsible for deaths will be introduced to state parliament by Mines Minister Anthony Lynham next year.

"The government is currently consulting with stakeholders, including the (Queensland Resources Council), mining companies and unions on the introduction of legislation into this House," he told parliament on Tuesday.

"There is also legislation before the House to establish a new independent resources safety and health regulator."

It will create the offence of industrial manslaughter, with a maximum 20-year prison sentence for mine bosses and fines of up to $10 million for companies found to have been negligent.

The Mines Inspectorate had carried out investigations into four deaths, but Mr Lynham could not say if an industrial manslaughter offence could have applied in those cases.

The state government introduced industrial manslaughter laws to other sectors in 2017 but did not include the resources industry.

Queensland Resources Council chief Ian Macfarlane said the draft Bill had his support.

"We will support the legislation and we're just working through it now and that includes those jail terms," he told ABC radio on Wednesday.

"If there is a case of recklessness or criminal negligence for the death of a worker they should face penalties similar to those penalties applied in other parts of the industry."

No allegations of negligence have been made against any individual at Carborough Downs, where operations have been suspended while the Queensland mines inspectorate investigates.

Mr Macfarlane is still waiting for findings from the spate of deaths, but said it there appeared to be no single identifiable safety issue linking them.

© AAP 2019