Hundreds of NZ coal mine jobs on the line

Hundreds of jobs at New Zealand coal miner Solid Energy's operations are at risk as it carries out a cost cutting review.

The review comes just weeks after Solid faced difficulties with renewing its Huntly East coal supply contracts with nearby smelters.

Solid stated that is "reviewing all aspects of its business in response to extremely challenging market conditions."

According to the company it is expecting its revenues to fall around $200 million for the current financial year, and had begun to look at cost saving measures.

Solid CEO Don Elder explained that "Solid Energy needs to plan to withstand these market conditions for at least the next 12 months and possibly for 24 months or longer.

"As a consequence, we are reviewing all areas of our business, including current and future operations, all fixed and variable costs, and the values of some of our assets, which will result in us taking significant impairments. Our aim is to preserve cash through reduced spending while, as far as possible, maintaining our longer-term value opportunities." 

Elder went on to say that operational and structural changes will result from this review, however the company will not elaborate on details of the change until it results its full year results.

A Solid Energy spokesperson told Fairfax NZ that staff would be told of the changes today, but declined to confirm or deny whether jobs would be lost.

It is believed its Spring Creek and Huntly East coal mines will be the worst affected.

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