Glencore Xstrata to close Newlands coal mine in Queensland, Australia

21 May 2014 (Last Updated May 21st, 2014 18:30)

Mining giant Glencore Xstrata is set to close its Newlands underground coal mine in Queensland, Australia by the end of June, resulting in the loss of 50 jobs.

Mining giant Glencore Xstrata is set to close its Newlands underground coal mine in Queensland, Australia by the end of June, resulting in the loss of 50 jobs.

The company said that Newlands northern underground mine would reach the end of its life in the fourth quarter of 2015, which would affect 196 full-time jobs.

Glencore Xstrata said it had tried to extend the life of the mine but blamed the problems on falling coal prices that made the mine unfeasible.

"Newlands is a close-knit community so this will have a major affect on the town and workers."

Glencore said it has already started consulting with workers ahead of the mine's closure next year, but will continue with production until the final volumes of coal have been extracted.

Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union of Queensland President Stephen Smyth said that Glencore had contacted the union about the closure as part of the consultation process for the winding down of the mine's life.

"Obviously we're disappointed about the closure, especially in this climate, and Newlands is a close-knit community so this will have a major affect on the town and workers," Smyth said.

"We hope that there will be the option of re-deploying the laid-off workers to Oakey Creek North, but we'll have to wait and see as it will all be part of the consultation process."

The move by Glencore came after the company cut 450 jobs at its Newlands and Oakey Creek mines in Queensland's Bowen Basin in 2013.

Since the end of mining boom in 2012, the Queensland mining industry has reported around 8,000 job losses.

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