Finance Finance News Mine closure to cost 130 jobs

Mine closure to cost 130 jobs

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The Ravensworth coal mine in the Hunter Valley will be shut down from September, with 130 workers facing redundancy.

Glencore told its workforce on Thursday, saying the first 17 jobs will go next month after the completion of the final longwall move.

The company says it is investigating whether some workers can be redeployed across its other operations in the Hunter.

Glencore spokesman, Allyn Hamonet says despite recent efforts to improve productivity, the mine is no longer viable.

“Due to the economic circumstances that the industry is facing at the moment, it is just no longer financially viable in this particular mine to continue,” he said.

“We did make a lot of changes to keep production going but with the increasingly difficult market we’re facing, it has reached a point where we had to make this decision.”

Glencore is blaming lower coal prices, the high Australian dollar and high production costs for a decision to shut its Ravensworth mine.

The company says the mine will be placed into care and maintenance mode in September.

Mr Hamonet says there is still a large coal resource at the mine and the closure may be temporary.

“There’s still plenty of coal there, but it’s just not economically feasible to get it out in the current circumstances,” he said.

“Prices are falling, the Australian dollar remains quite resilient and it is by its nature a mine that has high costs as an underground operation.

“Hopefully with an improved market we would certainly be looking to re-establish mining.”

Minerals Council calls for state government action

The New South Wales Minerals Council has called for urgent action from the state government on planning and regulation so further job losses in the mining sector can be avoided.

CEO Stephen Galilee says the current planning system is not working which is having a devastating impact on the industry.

“The planning system is failing in NSW,” he said.

“The Government has acknowledged that by trying to replace it with a new system .

“They were unsuccessful getting that through parliament.

“They can’t escape the fact however that the current system that is left is not working.

“It is failing the economy, it is failing communities and it is failing workers who are losing their jobs and it needs to be fixed as a matter of urgency.”

The Minerals Council wants a moratorium on new regulations for the mining industry and a reduction in red tape.

Mr Galilee says it is time for urgent action for the state government in planning and regulation.

“Rather than adding more and more regulatory burden to our industry, we’d like to see at least a moratorium on new regulations and hopefully some streamlining and red tape reduction,” he said.

“That can be achieved without winding back any of the protections that are required and should be in place.

“We’d also like to see more consistency and certainty out of the current planning system.”