Mining giant BHP Billiton will shed up to 200 jobs after announcing it will suspend mining at its Nickel West Leinster Perseverance Underground mine due to safety concerns.
“The decision to cease operations in the sub-level cave at Perseverance mine will lead to a reduction in the operational workforce at Leinster and impact valued stakeholders,” BHP said in a statement.
A spokeswoman said 200 positions associated with underground operations at the West Australian mine would be affected.
The company would try to redeploy employees before announcing a total number of redundancies, she said.
The company said Nickel West would continue to operate its processing facilities at Leinster, which has an overall workforce of 500, along with its other operations in Western Australia.
It will continue to maintain the underground infrastructure in Perseverance mine.
In October nine fitters had to go to a refuge chamber within the company’s Perseverance mine after a 3.7 magnitude earthquake struck the northern goldfields region.