Coal jobs cut in Australia

June 25, 2013

The falling price for thermal coal and growing glut of supply in Australia has prompted Peabody Energy and Glencore Xstrata to make workforce reductions.

Peabody Energy plans to cut around 450 contractor jobs while Glencore Xstrata will lay off 46 at its Ravensworth coal mine, reported Reuters, citing mining industry trade publication Australian Mining.

Prices for thermal coal, used for power generation, have fallen more than 30 percent in the last two years to around $80/t, while prices for coking coal, used for steelmaking, have dropped about 40 percent in the last year to around $130/t.

“(Contractors have) traditionally been an area of high spend for the company and as a result we will be reducing approximately 450 contractor positions at our mines over the coming weeks,” Peabody president Charles Meintjes was quoted as saying by Australian Mining.

Peabody said the cuts would take place across its operations in the coal-rich eastern Australian states of Queensland and New South Wales, where it produces both coking and thermal coal.

Xstrata’s job cuts would reduce Ravensworth’s mine workforce by about 26 percent, with around 130 employees remaining.

A company spokesman, who asked not be named, said the layoffs would trim back production at the mine, but did not give any specific figures. The mine produced around 2.2 Mt of mostly coking coal last year.

Glencore Xstrata has cut around 700 jobs since late last year, about 100 more jobs than it said it planned to eliminate late last year.



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