​Macmahon cuts jobs at Olympic Dam

Approximately 50 positions have been cut from Macmahon’s underground contracting operations at BHP’s Olympic Dam mine.

A source close to the situation told Australian Mining these “positions mainly involved trucks, loaders and one underground jumbo drill rig.”

“Approximately six trucks, two loaders and one jumbo have been cut from the contract,” the source said.

“This is roughly a 40 per cent hit to Macmahon’s main development contract; some associated staff management positions were also let go.

According to BHP the reduction is a result, in part, of mechanical issues at its Svedala mill on site.

"On 28 January 2015 the Svedala mill, part of BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam surface processing operations in South Australia, suffered an electrical failure and was safely placed in the maintenance position," a BHP spokesperson told Australian Mining.
"A complete diagnostic review was undertaken and revealed damage to the motor stator coil. The repair and remediation plan is being developed and the Company can confirm the mill will be out of service for approximately six months.
"As a result of the suspension of the mill other activities in the production line will be scaled back.  Unfortunately, this will impact some of the agency contractors we employ”
Macmahon confirmed the reduction.
"Macmahon has reduced the level of manning at Olympic Dam in line with current operational requirements," a Macmahon spokesperson told Australian Mining.

The company has had a turbulent six months, as the mining industry contracts and levels of work decline.

January saw the sudden departure of long term managing director Ross Carrolland deputy chairman Barry Cusack.

Then in February it lost a major $260 million contract at Fortescue’s Christmas Creek operation after FMG consolidated two separate contracts into one, awarding the single contract to rival Downer EDI.

This put around 700 jobs at risk, and followed on from the company cutting 40 jobs at the same site the previous week.

However in a turn in fortune for the workers Downer did announce it was would be retaining around 400 staff from the existing Macmahon workforce on site.

In December Macmahon also cut around 40 jobs from its workshop at Perth airport.

In the background of these local shakeups, the contractor was also embroiled in a dispute in Mongolia regarding more than US$20 million in overdue payments at Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi coal mine, which resulted in a total work standstill.


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