BHP Billiton subsidiary Illawarra Coal is cutting 36 jobs as part of what it calls an “organisational review” at its south coast coal mines.
The company said the job cuts are vital in ensuring long-term competitiveness with the next stage of reforms to focus on ‘‘operational activities’’.
It said the full review will be completed by June 30.
Illawarra Coal Asset President Troy McDonald said it is a difficult period for its employees and contractors.
"Initially there will be 36 employee and contractor roles affected," McDonald said.
“We will work closely with those who will be affected and provide the appropriate support services,” McDonald said.
“These workforce changes are essential to secure the future competitiveness of our business and will ensure we have the right number of people doing the right work to support our operations,” he said.
“Illawarra Coal will treat all employees fairly and with respect and ensure that they are kept informed throughout the process.’’
It not yet clear which of Illawarra Coal’s three mines will be affected by workforce changes.
The job cuts come just days after BHP’s coal president and Wollongong native, Dean Dalla Valle, said the company was on a “journey of simplicity”.
“On the cost front, we have been on that journey for 18 months and we have seen costs come down across our operation,” he said in a speech this week.
While the coal boss would not comment on job cuts, he said BHP was only “half way” there in terms of productivity gains.
Illawarra Coal operates three underground coal mines; Appin, West Cliff and Dendrobium; and two coal preparation plants – West Cliff Coal Preparation Plant and Dendrobium Coal Preparation Plant.