Glencore to sell Tahmoor mine after shelving plans to close operation

Aerial view of Tahmoor. Image: Glencore

Hundreds of coal mining jobs may be saved after Glencore today put its Tahmoor underground mine in New South Wales up for sale.

Glencore announced last year it planned to close the Southern Highlands-based mine, putting close to 350 jobs in doubt, but the turnaround in coking coal prices has caused the company to rethink its strategy.

The company previously said it would not continue mining at Tahmoor beyond 2018 because the operation no longer met its internal investment criteria.

“Our Tahmoor mine is an established, stable operation but has minimal operational synergies with the rest of our NSW coal business located in the Hunter region,” Glencore reported today.

However, Glencore decided to recommence development of additional longwall blocks in the north-west area of Tahmoor after the coking coal price spike.

“We believe the asset has a number of development options for the future and presents a potential buyer with the opportunity to establish or increase a strategic position in the Australian coking coal industry,” the company added.

Glencore said it would be business as usual at the mine “until and unless” a sale is agreed.

According to Glencore, the mine employs about 340 people, including contractors, and last year produced almost 1.8 million tonnes (Mt) of saleable coking coal. The Tahmoor mine has 57Mt of reserves and a 650Mt resource.