Queensland mine to cut 400 jobs

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Global resources business Glencore will sack hundreds of Hail Creek mine workers in what it has dubbed a “restructure” of its operations.

In a report by the Mackay Daily Mercury, the mine’s total workforce of about 1360 will be cut to 930 — meaning a total of 430 employees will lose their jobs.

This comes after Glencore purchased Hail Creek coal mine west of Mackay and the Valeria coal development project from Rio Tinto for $1.7 billion.

Glencore released a press statement about the job losses.

“Glencore has today provided employees at its Hail Creek open cut coal operations in Central Queensland with an outline of changes proposed for the mine,” a spokesperson said.

“It follows a review of operations that has been under way since Glencore took over operational management as new owners on August 1.

“The key changes are: Reconfiguration of the mine from a two dragline operation to a truck and shovel operation, with an attendant reduction in fleet (and the) introduction of a 7-on / 7-off roster system.

“The changes will affect around 30 per cent of the mine’s current workforce.”

Glencore said a review it had undertaken had identified “a number of areas where efficiency and productivity can be improved”, including fundamental changes to the mining methods used”.

“Our proposed changes are designed to ensure the ongoing viability of operations and reduce costs to improve the overall business position,” the spokesperson said.

“Unfortunately, it will mean the mine’s workforce of approximately 1360 will reduce to 930 when all changes have been implemented.”

Glencore said the “reconfiguration” would be phased in over the next 18 months, with most changes expected to be in place by the second quarter of 2019. The company also acknowledged the effect this will have on their workers and offered support.

“Glencore has asked employees for their feedback on the proposed changes ahead of their implementation,” the spokesperson said.

“We acknowledge the significant impact this will have on our workforce and their families, and we will have in place support services to assist and advise them.”

Glencore describes Hail Creek mine, about 120 kilometres southwest of Mackay in the northern Bowen Basin mining region, as a large-scale, long-life open cut operation

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