BHP Billiton to cut more coal jobs

BHP Billiton to cut a number of coal jobs in the Illawarra, creating another blow for the region’s mining industry.

According to sources close to the situation BHP Billiton is preparing to cut 500 jobs from across three coal mines in the Illawarra region.

However it is understood that while firm figures cannot be given for this latest round of redundancies, the figure is not near this high number.

What is known is that the jobs will be shed from the company’s Appin, Westcliff and Dendrobium operations.

"In April Illawarra Coal announced it was undertaking an Organisational Review which may result in changes across the business," a spokesperson told Australian Mining. 

"This review will be concluded by 30 June 2014.  We continue to consult with our employees on the details."

Australian Mining understands a final decision is expected to be made next week.

The news comes as the Wollongong Coal shed 142 jobs at its nearby Wongawilli and Russell Vale mines last week.

Glencore also announced plans to cut 40 jobs from Tahmoor mine.

“Over the past 18 months we have focused on our cost base throughout our operations and there is still more we need to do as we continue to look for ways to improve the productivity and competitiveness of our mines,” Dalla Valle said.

He said BHP had been on a “journey of simplicity”, stating the company was only “half way” there in terms of productivity gains.

36 roles were already stripped out of Illawarra Coal’s operations in April, with a further 50 contractor roles to be cut from Appin mine as well.

It is estimated around 450 people have lost their jobs within the Illawarra’s mining industry in just two years.

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