BHP Billiton has announced it will shut down its Gregory coal mine.
According to the miner its joint venture operation BMA will cease production at Gregory Crinum's open cut operations from 10 October this year.
BHP explained that this "decision follows a continuing operational review of the Gregory Crinum operations, which determined that the Gregory open-cut mine production was no longer profitable in the current economic environment of falling prices, high costs and a strong Australian dollar".
BMA asset president Stephen Dumble said production costs for the Gregory open cut operation currently exceeded revenue from its sales and "therefore the only option available to the company was to cease production".
Dumble added that “the Crinum underground mine will continue to operate along with the Gregory Coal Handling Preparation Plant. The remaining operations will be made more competitive by the removal of the high cost Gregory production.
“We understand that this decision will have an impact on our employees, their families and the Emerald community. We will work closely with our workforce and look for opportunities to redeploy affected employees to other BMA operations.
“We will also work with community stakeholders throughout the process,” he said.