Low coal prices and high Aussie dollar force New Hope to cut jobs

Image credit: Flickr User: Tao van de Graaff

Australian diversified energy company New Hope Group has announced interim results of a business efficiency review conducted as a result of the current slide in the coal industry.

Image credit: Flickr User: Tao van de Graaff
Image credit: Flickr User: Tao van de Graaff

New Hope Group Chief Executive Officer Shane Stephan said the industry had been severely affected by the plunging coal prices and the strong Australian dollar.

“The New Hope Group has been proactively reviewing its cost structures for some time as a result of the downturn,” he said.

“The continuing difficult times for the coal industry have required some difficult decisions to be taken regarding employment to allow the company to endure this low point in the cycle and emerge in the best shape possible when conditions improve.”

A media statement issued by the New Hope Group revealed that the efficiency review process has pinpointed productivity improvements whose implementation would initially result in a number of positions becoming redundant at the company’s West Moreton operations and its corporate office.

Mr Stephan said approximately 5% of the workforce across the New Hope Group will be affected by the impending changes that follows the review process, but ruled out that there will be major staff overhaul following the release of the findings in relation to other areas of the business, which are expected to be announced within the next few weeks.

Employees which will be affected by any redundancies would receive professional advice to assist them to find alternative employment.

In addition, Mr Stephan said the review would not affect the production at the company’s coal operations, with current tonnages being maintained from both West Moreton and New Acland.

“Importantly, the company is committed to progressing the approval process for the New Acland Coal Mine Stage 3 Project, to ensure the continuation of the New Acland operation, north-west of Oakey, beyond its expected closure date of 2017,” Mr Stephan said.