Improve productivity or face job losses: Cook Colliery

Workers at Caledon Resources’ Cook Colliery have been given until June 1 to improve mine efficiencies, or face extensive job losses.

Tough conditions in Australia’s coal sector has sparked rumours about the mine’s future, but according to CQ News reports the suggestion of transforming the Queensland colliery into a Monday-Friday operation has been mooted.

Caledon Resources managing director Mark Trevan admitted the mine was experiencing "financial stress".

"Cook is currently a small mine that must significantly improve its productivity if it is to survive in the current market conditions," Trevan said.

 "While its new owners have supported management's recommendation to achieve this in the medium term via installation of a longwall, the issue facing the company is how it deals with the financial stress it is currently facing.

"The company's preference is to address this by working the existing more efficiently, while at the same time removing all non-value adding costs."

Trevan said the mine needed the support of its workforce to meet the efficiency targets.

"At this stage there have been no redundancies at Cook, however, if a significant productivity change cannot be effected, then unfortunately the company must look at all options to improve its financial position," he said.

Last year Australian Mining reported the colliery located near Blackwater was under investigation by the Queensland Government for environmental breaches after accusations emerged they discharged contaminated water into the Fitzroy catchment.

A number of mines across the region were affected by late season rains at the time, which inundated their pits.

Caledon bought the Cook coal mine from Xstrata in 2006.

In 2008 a worker was involved in a mining accident onsite, when an LHD was driven over his right leg which was amputated as a result.

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