PanAust to lay-off 182 workers amidst falling copper prices

13 January 2015 (Last Updated January 13th, 2015 18:30)

Gold and copper mining company PanAust has announced plans to cut 182 jobs from its workforce as part of a business review due to a slump in copper prices.

Gold and copper mining company PanAust has announced plans to cut 182 jobs from its workforce as part of a business review due to a slump in copper prices.

The decision is the result of the company's recently implemented ongoing business efficiency review, which aims to streamline the business process and systems, ensuring they achieve sustainable, well-resourced operations for mine lives.

According to PanAust, the changes are expected to result in an annual operating cost reduction of about $15.5m.

The company is planning further redundancies over the course of the year, through natural attrition and as a number of employment contracts expire.

"The company is now in an even stronger position to meet the challenges associated with a weaker commodity price environment."

PanAust managing director Dr Fred Hess said: "PanAust's operations are well-established and globally competitive.

"The company is now in an even stronger position to meet the challenges associated with a weaker commodity price environment with all-in sustaining costs at our operations allowing for healthy margins at prevailing prices."

The company noted that the latest organisational changes are required to ensure that its operations continue to remain competitive, and reflect its priorities in 2015 of efficiency optimisation at existing operations.

PanAust said that the changes are also aimed at advancing the Frieda River project towards a development decision.

"By focusing on improving efficiencies we will maximise the value of our existing operations through enhanced margins and cashflow generation," Hess added.

At Phu Kham annual copper in concentrate production is scheduled to increase by about 30% over the next several years.

The Frieda River project is expected to sustain the company's copper business well beyond the next decade.