Dec 18, 2019

Bounty Mining collapse costs 170 coal jobs at Christmas

Bounty Mining collapse costs 170 coal jobs at Christmas

About 170 contract workers have been left without a job a week before Christmas after the collapse of Cook Colliery operator Bounty Mining.

Bounty has gone into voluntary administration after a string of setbacks including rockfalls at the Blackwater district mine in October.

And newly appointed receivers and managers of the business, PWC, are putting the site into care and maintenance.

CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland President Stephen Smyth said workers had received little information about the mine owner going into voluntary administration. 

“News the mine owner has gone into administration is a terrible blow to workers in the week before Christmas,” Mr Smyth said. 

“To make a bad situation worse, workers have told us that they’ve received little information about what is happening. 

“We are calling on the administrators and (labour hire contractor) ABM to provide workers and the union with full details about the current circumstances and what entitlements workers are owed. 

“Unfortunately, because most of these workers are employed as casuals they are likely to get nothing but a door slamming shut behind them.”

CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland President Stephen Smyth.

Mr Smyth said the union would do everything it could to support workers affected by the sudden closure.  

Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan acknowledged the workers’ plight on his Facebook page.

“Really sad news for those impacted at the closure of the Cook colliery near Blackwater, especially just before Christmas,” he wrote.

“Fortunately, there are mines reopening in the area and the government can provide assistance to help people find new work if needed. For more info call my office on 07 4927 2003.”

Bounty has appointed Robert Hutson and Jarrod Villani of KordaMentha as administrators and PWC has taken the reins as receivers and managers of the business.

A spokesman for PWC said about 170 contractors at Cook had been informed that, at this time, their services would unfortunately no longer be required.

He said there were about 40 direct employees of the business and they remained employed.

In a statement to the ASX, Bounty said the move followed a period of depressed coking coal prices, production shortfalls following roof-falls and the inability to source enough extra funds for the planned transition to place-change mining.

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