​Anglo American cuts Drayton coal staff

The miner has today announced it is reducing its workforce at the Drayton coal mine as reserve levels dwindle.

According to Anglo American it will be forced to reduce staff levels by 45 workers, as the 30 year old Drayton coal mine’s reserves come to an end, coupled with the NSW Planning and Assessment Committee’s decision not to approve the Drayton South operation last year, the second time the PAC has made such a decision.

The Drayton South mine was set to be a replacement for the existing Drayton mine.

The project would have extended the life of the coal mine for 20 years and produced a total of 97 million tonnes of coal.

Anglo has previously said 500 jobs hinge on the extension being approved.

The company first lodged an application for the open cut coal mine extension in 2011 but local residents attempted to block the development claiming it would hurt surrounding tourist, thoroughbred, and wine industries.

Since then it has battled unsuccessfully to have the mine approved.

Now with the latest knockback, Anglo American executive head of open cut mining Mark Heaton has said “the company has reviewed the current reserves in Drayton and unfortunately redundancies were unavoidable at this time, although the aim would be to keep as many job for as long as possible”.

“We had hoped the Drayton South project would have given smooth continuity of employment for our 500 workers and 140 local suppliers,” he said in a company statement.

“However we now find ourselves in the difficult position of balancing depleting coal levels with extending the mine’s life for as long as possible without approval for Drayton South.

“The redundancy positions will be subject to the business needs and will be determined with full consultation with employees and our employee representatives.”

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