BHP Billiton has suspended production at Nickel West Leinster Perseverance underground mine in Australia following significant seismic activity, which is expected to result in around 200 job losses.
The company said that the closure of the mine, which was under suspension since 31 October, was based on safety issues.
The decision was made following an investigation by experts, which found that operations in the sub-level cave at Perseverance mine are unable to safely resume.
BHP Billiton said the decision to halt operations in the sub-level cave at Perseverance mine will lead to a reduction in the operational workforce at Leinster and impact valued stakeholders.
Nickel West Asset president Paul Harvey said the company would continue to work with employees affected by the decision and help them find redeployment opportunities within Nickel West and BHP Billiton, wherever possible.
"The health, safety and wellbeing of our people is paramount; it is the first of our charter values," Harvey said. "As this change is implemented, we will continue to treat our people and stakeholders with the utmost care and respect and maintain our strong focus on safety."
Nickel West will continue to operate its processing facilities at Leinster, along with its other operations in Western Australia, and to maintain the underground infrastructure in Perseverance mine.
Mining will resume at Rocky’s Reward open cut mine, near Leinster, to provide an alternative ore supply to the company’s business.
BHP Billiton is currently assessing the impact of the decision on production, which will be reported in the December 2013 quarterly operational review.
Image: BHP Billiton said Nickel West will continue to operate its processing facilities at Leinster. Photo: courtesy of BHP Billiton.