100 jobs to be axed at Rio Tinto’s Hail Creek Mine

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Image credit: www.riotinto.com. Photographer: Christian Sprogoe PhotographyDate: 27 July 2009

More bad news for the mining sector, Rio Tinto is preparing to cut one hundred jobs at its Hail Creek Mine located at about 120 km south-west of Mackay in central Queensland.

Image courtesy of http://www.riotinto.com. Photographer: Christian Sprogoe Photography  Date: 27 July 2009
Image courtesy of http://www.riotinto.com. Photographer: Christian Sprogoe Photography
Date: 27 July 2009

According to the article on the Sydney Morning Herald, the mining sector has seen 8,000 job cuts in Queensland in the last couple of years.

“Like others in the Australian coal mining industry, Rio Tinto is facing the challenge of increasing costs and dropping coal prices. We are working to improve productivity and reduce costs across our mines,” said a company’s spokesperson.

“Regrettably, this means some roles at Hail Creek Mine are no longer required as part of changes to ensure the mine is sustainable in challenging conditions. Consultation processes are in progress and we will be providing support for those affected.”

An article on the Daily Mercury reveals that the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) has reportedly started discussions with the miner regarding the job cuts. A meeting between Rio Tinto and the CFMEU took place last Wednesday, with the CFMEU demanding definite answers regarding the exact number of jobs and roles that are set to be axed.

“It’s a difficult time for employees and their families. We’ve already had queries from workers. We’re in the middle of negotiating a new agreement for Hail Creek mine too. So there’s uncertainty for employees,” said CFMEU President Stephen Smyth.

The mine supplies steel mills in Asia and Europe with up to eight million tonnes of hard coking coal — a type of metallurgical coal — per annum.

Rio Tinto Coal Australia manages the operation on behalf of the joint venture partners, Queensland Coal Pty Ltd (82 per cent), Nippon Steel Australia Pty Ltd (8 per cent), Marubeni Coal Pty Ltd (6.67 per cent) and Sumisho Coal Development Pty Ltd (3.33 per cent).

For more information, go to www.riotintocoalaustralia.com.au