Glencore to cut Australian coal production as global market plunges

Glencore will temporarily shut down sites and equipment at a number of New South Wales and Queensland coal operations to manage its production profile as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the global market.

A number of Glencore’s operations in NSW, and its Collinsville and Newlands operations in Queensland will be shut down.

The company said the shutdowns are planned to coincide with the September school holidays and workers will be required to take leave during this time.

Glencore stated in its 2020 first half update that global thermal coal demand has declined by 8.5 per cent year on year during the first half of 2020.

“These measures will enable us to align our production levels with market demand, while providing the flexibility to ramp back up as our economies recover from the effects of COVID-19,” Glencore stated in a media release.

“Our focus is on taking necessary steps to continue operations, manage the current market volatility and limit the impact on our workforce.”

The changes Glencore is making to its operations, including the temporary shutdowns, are in line with measures the company has used in the past to respond to global market conditions.

Glencore employs 18,720 Australians across the coal, copper, zinc, nickel industries.

The company operates 10 coal mines in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley and five in Queensland’s Bowen Basin, Australia’s two premier coal producing districts.

The global coal market has struggled against the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which subdued demand for coal used for steel making in nations including China and India.

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