Newcrest will wind back its contractor workforce at its Cadia Valley gold mine as its major construction projects come to an end.
“Cadia Valley is winding up its major construction projects on site, so we’re starting to see these contractors being laid off,” AWU Northern Region official Glenn Seton told Australian Mining.
Currently up to 1200 people are on site, “but every day we’re starting to see more of these contractors in our office with redundancy papers in hand, and while it’s guesswork so far, we think Cadia will wind back its workforce to its full time staff of around 600 odd people,” he said.
This could result in the loss of up to 600 contractor positions from the site.
Newcrest stated it is reducing its workforce as its major operations, the Cadia East mine and its associated construction projects, come to completion, and that it has telegraphed the reduction for some time.
“The Cadia East [project] is ramping up in FY15 ahead of schedule,” the miner stated in its FY15 half year results.
It has also already achieved commercial production from its Cadia East Panel cave 2.
A Newcrest told Australian Mining that "since the commencement of construction of the Cadia East Project in 2010, Cadia Valley Operations’ (CVO) manning numbers have increased using a mixture of permanent employees and contract labour hire to manage fluctuating development and operational requirements".
"With the completion of the current construction phase, CVO will begin to reduce its manpower.
" Long term operational plans, including workforce requirements, have been discussed openly and directly with our workforce and contracting partners, and changes to employment are communicated in line with individuals' employment contracts," the spokesperson said.
"While this reduction in total site numbers has been openly discussed since the Cadia East Project commenced in 2010, it is not an easy time for the people involved, and it is important that people are accurately informed.
"Further reductions are expected as project and operational milestones are met throughout the year. Employees involved in the reduction are offered access to an independent career’s advisor for assistance in gaining future employment, and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), a free counselling service available to all Newcrest employees and their families."
Across its global operations Newcrest has carried out a total headcount reduction of 21 per cent since June 2013, the majority in its project and contractor workforce which has been reduced by 48 per cent since that time, while it has only reduced its fulltime staff headcount by 13 per cent globally as a cost cutting measure in the face of a weaker gold price.
The mining industry itself is seeing a wider turn from contractor operated mines to owner-operated projects as the industry moves from a construction phase into that of production, and seeks to reduce costs across the board.