Contractor slashes 360 jobs

Macmahon Holdings will slash 360 jobs from its coal projects in the Bowen Basin.

Macmahon Holdings will slash 360 jobs from its coal projects in the Bowen Basin as BHP Billiton scales back production in Queensland.

Macmahon manager of investor relations, Kavneet Elvin told MINING DAILY the jobs losses follow production cuts as the demand for coal decreases with the financial crisis.

“BHP has been forced to cut backs volumes at its Bowen Basin operations, which will immediately affect workers at the Gunyella mine and the Saraji project from the end of May,” she said.

Macmahon had hoped to extend a number of its BHP contracts, but Elvin said the financial crisis has taken its toll on BHP and forced the miner to “substantially” cut back its volumes.

The contracting company is now trying to find alternative work for affected employees and preparing redundancy packages for eligible workers.

“We are trying to find replacement work for employees at our Eaglefield project in the Bowen Basin, but there is no doubt the current climate is making it harder for us to place affected workers,” she said.

“There is a lot of staff and we won’t be able to find work for all of them.”

The move follows the loss of 420 jobs since January, following a number of mine cancellations and deferrals from its clients.

Macmahon’s share price plunged nearly 50% on Monday after releasing its annual profit forecast, which is expected to be between $15 million and $20 million.

Macmahon predicts the redundancies and other savings will deliver an annual cost saving of up to $10 million to help the company survive the economic crisis.

“We are hoping for no further job cuts, but it all comes down to our clients and their volume of work,” Elvin said.

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