More cuts to come in QLD coal: BHP

BHP Billiton CEO Marius Kloppers says there is a "broad industry movement" toward cutting jobs on Queensland coal developments.

In a recent discussion with British journalists Kloppers said low commodity prices and higher taxes and royalties were hurting the QLD industry.

He also said many of the coal mining operations in QLD were already unprofitable and there would be more staff cuts in the future.

"My take is that a very substantial chunk of the energy coal production and a sizeable proportion of the metallurgical coal production is non-cash generative at today's cost structures and prices," he said.

"It seems to me that there is broad industry movement toward personnel reductions, contractor stand-downs and so on in that coal industry. You have seen us do some of that."

Kloppers said he had "heard things" about the weakening market from Xstrata, Rio Tinto, Yancoal, and Whitehaven Coal, and almost all companies were starting to struggle in present conditions.

He said if exchange rates, labour prices, royalties, and taxes continued to stay high there would be more cuts from BHP and other companies in QLD.

"You have heard us say before that if it does not make cash then we will curtail it," he said.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.