BHP Billiton cuts jobs at Saraji mine

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Central Queensland: Peak Downs and Saraji coal mine Image credit: flickr User: Beyond Coal and Gas

BHP Billiton’s cost-saving measures have resulted in 230 coal miners losing their jobs at a central Queensland mine, with the company claiming that the cuts were unavoidable in order to secure the viability of the mining operation.

Central Queensland: Peak Downs and Saraji coal mine Image credit: flickr User:  Beyond Coal and Gas
Central Queensland: Peak Downs and Saraji coal mine
Image credit: flickr User: Beyond Coal and Gas

According to an article on the Australian, the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) says that the open-cut mine employed more workers than were necessary for the efficient operation of the mine.

The company conducted extensive review of the operation that revealed that 230 employee and contractor jobs are a surplus and need to be terminated.

“A recent review of the Saraji mine by the company concluded that a fundamental improvement in the cost base of the open-cut operation is required to ensure that it remains competitive,” said BMA Asset President Lucas Dow in a statement.

“We want to ensure that the Saraji mine continues to operate viably providing ongoing employment in the local region.”

Mr Dow further revealed that no measures would be undertaken before the detailed consultation with the workforce is completed. The BMA has commenced the consultation process with employees at the Saraji mine near the town of Dysart in northeast Australia in a bid to ensure the future viability of the operation.

An article on the Business Spectator reveals that BHP Billiton and other Australian miners invested billions of dollars in new projects over the past decade while prices for minerals, especially coal and iron ore, kept on rising and saw a constant demand growth in China; however, demand has reduced, as have prices, so numerous miners have been forced to postpone expansion plans and cut jobs at existing projects.

The BMA joint venture is the largest exporter of steelmaking coal in the world and the largest private-sector employer in the resource-rich Bowen Basin in Queensland, with over 10,000 staff and contractors.