Centennial Coal is placing its Angus Place mine in ‘care and maintenance’ following a restructuring of its operations.
The move comes on the back of an increasingly difficult coal market, with prices continuing to stagnate.
“This has been an extremely difficult decision, with Centennial committed to diligently working through a process that will sensitively support those impacted,” Centennial Coal said.
“Unfortunately, the decision is essential if the Joint Venture is to sustain its competitiveness following the reduction in domestic coal demand in the Western Region as a result of the suspension of operations at Wallerawang Power Station, and lower export prices flowing from the currently over-supplied export thermal coal market.”
The mine will begin its shutdown from next month.
Of the 268 staff on site around 168 workers jobs are in doubt following the decision, with the remaining 100 workers to be redeployed to the nearby Clarence and Springvale mine.
“Centennial has proposed a proportion of the Angus Place workforce would be relocated to Springvale, where the plan would be to ‘ramp-up’ Springvale – increasing production, improving productivity and reducing costs, while also seeking to minimise the number of redundancies,” the miner said in a company statement.
“In order to achieve this, the Angus Place longwall and two development crews and equipment would need to be redeployed to Springvale. The transfer of the Angus Place longwall and development crews will result in increased production, and accordingly, no loss of production during the traditional five week longwall changeover periods usually experienced every 7-8 months at Springvale. In effect, a second longwall will deliver continuous longwall coal from Springvale.”
However, the miner added that it may consider reopening the mine when the Springvale reserves are exhausted in 2023, or if market conditions improve significantly.