The Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania has retrenched 85 workers in their attempts to make the mine more profitable.
The mine has been struggling financially and has subsequently outsourced its operations to Webb Contractors, who will take over all operations.
It’s not all bad news for employees, though. Webb are expected to secure positions for about 40 of the retrenched miners, and BCD, who own the mine, will continue the employment of 54 surface employees at the operation.
The operation’s workforce is expected to be about 170, after retrenchment and re-employment. This is a total loss of about 45 people.
Wenn Operations has been involved in development activities at the mine for years.
Minemakers has also stepped in to assist BCD, advancing $8.5 million to the company, and they say the over-manned operation will move into contract mining.
Managing Director of Minemakers, Andrew Drummond, says there needs to be a lowering of the “entire cost structure” at the mine.
”We believe that it can be done and that the mine can be turned around and that we can add value for shareholders,” he said.
Following the infamous rock fall that killed a miner in 2006 and trapped two others underground for two weeks, the mine has been operating with remote mining and enhanced safety measures.
According to BCD, the contract with Webb Contractors will be “extended to include all underground activities, including stoping and trucking”
“The change is expected to deliver substantial cost savings,” BCD said.
The financial issues at Beaconsfield come despite a record increase in gold prices, and are a result of development work to get across a new high-grade ore shoot.