Miners to lose jobs in the Hunter Valley

More than 100 miners will lose their jobs after BHP Billiton cancels it contract with Bowditch over safety concerns.

The miner cancelled the contract for overburden removal at its Mt Arthur coal mine in the Hunter Valley, according to the Newcastle Herald.

While details regarding the cause of the contract cancellation have not been made public, the CFMEU have said that BHP has previously raised concerns over safety levels in the past.

CFMEU industrial research officer Keenon Endacott explained that safety concerns at the mine were raised with Fair Work Australia against Bowditch last year.

"As a result we wrote to the company, to BHP and to the state government mining inspectorate about our concerns, "Endacott said.

Workers were stood down from the site a fortnight ago, but were only told to collect tools on Thursday.

Contractor miner Bowditch and Partners has been working at the mine for around two decades.

"A decision has been made to discontinue an overburden removal contract held by Bowditch & Partners at Mt Arthur Coal," BHP said.
"The companies are working closely to minimise the impact of the decision on the contractor’s employees."

BHP is reportedly offering Bowditch employees the opportunity to apply for the now vacant positions.

While it has cancelled the overburden removal contract, BHP is not cancelling its other contracts with company, such as equipment hire and civil works.

Last year the miner announced that it is expanding the Mt Arthur coal mine, which is already the largest operation in the Hunter Valley.

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