Xstrata Copper’s CEO Steve de Kruijff has warned that job cuts may be on the horizon at its north and west Queensland copper mining operations.
de Kruijff told a resources forum in Brisbane that while the company has so far avoided sacking staff by putting projects on hold, as long as commodity prices remain unstable future cuts cannot be ruled out.
Xstrata mines in Mount Isa and Cloncurry in north-west Queensland and has a copper refinery and port operations in Townsville in the state’s north.
According to de Kruijff, help for exporters may come in the form of increased housing construction in China.
“That has good outcomes I think for producers of steel, cement and copper, so the copper really does float off that sort of development,” he said.
“That’s positive in the medium to long term I think.”