Strong demand for skills in the Bowen Basin resources sector is hoped to offer job options for hundreds of workers being shed from the Hail Creek mine.
Glencore today announced a restructure of the Hail Creek open-cut coal mine which will see the total number of workers decrease from 1360 to 930 by the second half of next year.
The changes include a reconfiguration of the mine from a two-dragline operation to a truck-and-shovel operation.
“I understand this will be a difficult time for workers affected by the changes. But there is strong demand across Central and North Queensland for skilled workers in the resources sector,” Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said.
“Queensland-wide there are about 1250 vacancies in the resources sector, and more than 440 of those jobs are in the Mackay and coalfields region. On top of that, there are more than 200 jobs up for grabs in the Rockhampton, Gladstone and wider Central Queensland region.”
Glencore said the changes followed a review of operations that had been underway since it took over operational management as new owners on August 1.
The company plans to introduce a seven-on/seven-off roster as well as switching to a truck and shovel operation, with an attendant reduction in fleet.
“Our review has identified a number of areas where efficiency and productivity can be improved, starting with fundamental changes to the mining methods used,” a company statement read.
“Our proposed changes are designed to ensure the ongoing viability of operations and reduce costs to improve the overall business position.”