Perilya says its decision to sack 17 workers from its Broken Hill operations was a necessary response to tough economic conditions.
ABC News reports Perilya managing director Paul Arndt said rising costs and falling commodity prices were forcing companies to do more with less in order to stay profitable.
“When you are in a situation where you are facing a strong Australian dollar and falling metal prices you've got to look for more productivity from your people, and that's really what we're asking for,” he said.
The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union said while none of its members were impacted by the cutbacks, it had concerns about the future job security for workers at Broken Hill.
Late last month Perilya called on the Federal Government to intervene and devalue the Australian dollar in order to lower costs.
At the time Arndt said exports were “suffering significantly” due to rising costs and the high exchange rate, and companies were being forced to make significant cutbacks.
Despite the layoffs Perilya said at the moment it was not looking to close any of its operations.
The miner's comments come on the same day as Focus Minerals' decision to halt operations at the Laverton Gold project due to rising costs, falling commodity prices, and the high dollar.