Consistent with its life of mining plan, Glencore’s West Wallsend coal mine will cease operations next year.
Making the announcement today, Glencore said a number of options to extend the mine’s life had been considered, but that the current coal market did not support keeping the mine open.
The closure will occur some months earlier than originally scheduled, following Glencore’s decision not to mine an approved longwall block (Longwall 47) beneath cliff lines, terraces and steeper sections of the Sugarloaf State Conservation Area (SSCA).
Development work at the mine will be completed by the end of June this year, with all mining to end in mid-2016.
Staff at West Wallsend have been notified of the decision, and Glencore says services will be put in place to assist employees, including redeployment options across Glencore’s Australian coal operations.
“We appreciate the impact this will have on our employees and their families, as well as the local communities and businesses supported by West Wallsend’s annual spend of almost $200 million across the area,” the company said.
The mine employs around 400 people.