Atlas Iron snaps up jobless miners

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Atlas Iron has offered new jobs to the 70 miners soon to lose work at the closing Wodgina tantalum mine.

Earlier this week Global Advanced Metals announced it was closing the mine due to softening tantalum prices.

According to The West Australian Atlas managing director David Flanagan said the company would look to take up the miners to feed its growing demand for workers in the Pilbara.

Atlas has iron ore operations neighboring the GAM Wodgina mine in the Pilbara, and Flanagan said hiring GAM’s workers would be a good opportunity to find qualified staff during the skills shortage.

The move mirrors comments by the Construction, Forestry, Mining, and Energy Union earlier this year that 50 sacked coalminers from Ashton Coal in NSW were likely to find new jobs immediately.

Earlier this week Atlas Iron posted a five per cent drop in ore shipments, and blamed the loss on unplanned crusher breakdowns at its Wodgina site.

It also said its Port Hedland ship loader had been offline after suffering electrical damage in January’s cyclone.

Earlier this month Flanagan said Atlas might need an extra 1,000 workers within three years to meet its ambitious expansion plans.

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