BHP Billiton to cut 150 jobs at Mount Arthur coal mine

5 November 2014 (Last Updated November 5th, 2014 06:35)

Mining major BHP Billiton has announced that 150 miners from the Mount Arthur coal mine in Australia will be made redundant in the next four months.

Mining major BHP Billiton has announced that 150 miners from the Mount Arthur coal mine in Australia will be made redundant in the next four months.

The proposed plans will affect full-time and contract workers in the production and maintenance departments.

BHP said the job cuts have been effected after a review and are necessary to help reduce costs and sustain the business in the longer term.

BHP Billiton's energy coal asset president Peter Sharpe said: "The Australian coal industry continues to experience difficult market conditions, including continuing low coal prices and a strong Australian dollar.

"The Australian coal industry continues to experience difficult market conditions, including continuing low coal prices and a strong Australian dollar."

"We have made progress at Mount Arthur Coal in our efforts to reset our cost base, but regrettably, an additional 150 roles will be made redundant by the end of February 2015 as a result of further operational efficiencies."

NSW Minerals Council has, however, blamed the policies of New South Wales Government for the job losses in the state.

The council claims that the coal industry in the state is facing a difficult period due to a cyclical downturn in coal prices and claims that the industry has lost around 4,000 direct jobs in the last two years.

Mineral Council CEO Stephen Galilee said: "Dealing with these tough times is being made tougher due to New South Wales Government policies that include a broken planning system that refuses important projects like Drayton South that would protect and save Hunter jobs."