Glencore to slash jobs at Australia’s Collinsville coal mine

7 December 2015 (Last Updated December 7th, 2015 18:30)

Switzerland-based Glencore is set to cut jobs at its open-cut Collinsville coal mine in north Queensland, Australia amidst the falling prices of thermal coal.

Switzerland-based Glencore is set to cut jobs at its open-cut Collinsville coal mine in north Queensland, Australia amidst the falling prices of thermal coal.

The company has started discussions with miners at Collinsville where it also plans to reduce production, which may result in the loss of 180 of the 230 jobs.

Earlier in May 2015, the company announced plans to slash production at the mine by two million tonnes due to low coal prices. The decision resulted in a loss of 80 jobs from the existing workforce of 340 at the mine.

"It is a particularly difficult decision given the significant effort and the improvements made at Collinsville by Glencore and the entire workforce over the last two years in attempting to turn around the mine's financial position."

Glencore said in an email sent to AFP that it plans to cut production in 2016 to restrict the stock in the pit.

Lower commodity prices as well as market oversupply are the factors that are believed to have contributed to Collinsville incur financial losses during 2015.

The company plans to cease production at Collinsville for nearly three weeks over the Christmas period.

Glencore acquired the mine along with its acquisition of the mining group Xstrata in 2013 and since then the market for heating coal has declined 43%.

The company said in statement: "It is a particularly difficult decision given the significant effort and the improvements made at Collinsville by Glencore and the entire workforce over the last two years in attempting to turn around the mine's financial position."

The Collinsville coal mine lies in the northern Bowen Basin and produces coking and steaming coal for both domestic use and export.

It has estimated reserves of about 196 million tonnes of coking coal and a capacity to produce six million tonnes of coal per year.

Glencore announced a series of moves that are aimed at reducing its $30bn debt by a third since September 2015.