Ensham to slash coal mining jobs

Ensham has announced that it is cutting 250 workers from its coal mine.

The announcement comes just months after it slashed around 100 jobs at the operation due to spiralling thermal coal prices.

At the time, CEO Peter Westerhuis said Ensham has "to make sure we are producing the lowest cost coal … and unfortunately some parts of our mine are less cost competitive than others so we have had to close them down.

"Regrettably that has had an impact on resources required and at this point there's about 100 contractors gone.

"Quite frankly, if the price stays as low as it is, we will have to review further parts of the business with strong prospects of further reductions in the human resources required."

It has now made these further reductions.
Ensham will cut 250 contractors and permanent staff from its site, according to the Daily Mercury.

As part of this paring back, it will also reduce production levels by 40% at the mine, with its remaining 500 workers operating the coal mine.

"Our competitors in other countries are able to land their products at the doors of our competitors for lower prices," Westerhuis said.

"Everyone has different cost structures but we can't match it.

"As a consequence, Ensham is reducing thermal coal production, which will be confined to the lowest cost mining areas.

"Consequently, much of the equipment has been stood down and demobilised. And sadly, the knock-on effect is a further reduction of about 250 people, in addition to the earlier lay-offs of about 150."

Ensham's announcement came only hours after Xstrata confirmed that it would be cutting positions at its Oaky Creek mine as part of its wider move to pare back the workforce by 600 positions.