Middlemount South is shedding 70 workers and outsourcing two work packages to contractors in a move to lower production costs and extend the operational life of its Foxleigh coal mine, purchased from Anglo American last year.
Sedgman Contractors and Comiskey Mining Services have been engaged to undertake the CHPP operations and maintenance activities and are expected to start work on site this month.
Chief operating officer Scott Graham said the operational restructure would see Middlemount South better placed to meet a challenging coal market.
“Since taking over operations at the Foxleigh Mine in late August 2016, it has become clear that we need to make changes now to achieve a lower unit cost of production in order to keep the mine operating over the long term,” Mr Graham said.
“By implementing these proposed operational changes, we expect to not only achieve this, but also make the operation more agile and responsive to a challenging market.”
Engaging Sedgman Contractors and Comiskey Mining Services would result in 70 positions becoming surplus to requirements, he said. The operation’s total workforce is 438 personnel.
“Along with our extensive consultation with the CFMEU, we are committed to undertaking this transition in a fair and respectful way demonstrated by us providing support to our staff during this transition and making financial advice and counselling available,” Mr Graham said.
“Additionally, a number of our mining personnel are accepting voluntary redundancies, with all personnel to receive their full entitlements, as well as the opportunity to interview with the new contractors.”
Real Resources-owned Middlemount South holds a 70 per cent interest in the Foxleigh joint venture along with POSCO Australia (20 per cent) and Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metals Australia (10 per cent).