Kalgoorlie Super Pit rock falls lead to more job casualties

The Super Pit rock fall. Image: Glenn Wilson.

KCGM has slashed 140 positions from its workforce at the Kalgoorlie Super Pit gold mine in Western Australia after restructuring operations to reflect the impact of May’s rock falls.

It does, however, expect that only a third of these workers will be made redundant due to the potential for other opportunities at the operation.

The Super Pit experienced rock movement on the eastern wall of the Fimiston open pit on May 14–15, forcing mining rates at the operation to be reduced.

To ensure staffing levels are aligned with the lower mining rates, KCGM said in a statement it was adapting the mine’s operating model, which would result in a reduction of its workforce.

KCGM general manager Cecile Thaxter said the impact of the rock falls had altered the mine’s production profile, requiring changes to the organisational structure across all function areas.

“The necessary restructure is focused on providing a platform to enable sustainable growth in the future,” Thaxter said.

“As a result of the review, there is a reduction in the KCGM direct workforce of around 140 positions, but with existing vacancies and redeployment opportunities we expect only around a third of this group will be made redundant.”

Thaxter said the restructure had not reduced the current level of operators and maintainers.

“We are working closely with affected employees to provide assistance to maximise redeployment or alternate work opportunities and are providing support from our employee assistance program,” Thaxter said.

KCGM had already announced in June that 36 positions would be cut. The rock falls have also forced the miner to lower its 2018 production guidance at the operation to between 560,000oz–660,000oz.

The mine is a joint venture between Newmont Mining and Barrick Gold.

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