Top 5 stories of August

August was a month of unusual accidents, surprise decisions and massive job cuts. It's all here in Australian Mining's top five.

BHP dumps Olympic Dam

Unsurprisingly BHP Billiton's move to shelve expansion plans for the Olympic Dam mine was the hottest story in August. Weak commodity prices and spiraling costs were blamed for the decision, but the company said rather than axing plans completely it's gone back to the drawing board to think up a cheaper way to make it happen.

The world's ten largest gold mines

Sparking interest in the biggest and the best, this list of the world's ten largest gold mines was our second most popular story. Whilst we didn’t make the top five, Australia rounded out the list with the Super Pit in Kalgoorlie at number nine and the Boddington mine in WA at number ten.

BMA, Rio Tinto, Xstrata cut coal jobs

In further signs of things slowing down in the coal industry, last month the big three coal miners all announced plans to cut jobs.

All three were tight lipped about the changes to their workforce, but most of the cutbacks were made to contractor numbers throughout the Bowen Basin, which many pundits said was standard practice in a fluctuating market.

Blasting accident destroys dozer at Saraji

Blasting is always risky business, and just how dangerous it can be was illustrated last month when a Cat D11 dozer was destroyed at BMA's Saraji mine.

Luckily no workers were injured, but the dozer was well and truly written off.

Rio Tinto closes office, slashes jobs

Further to its contractor cuts Rio Tinto also slashed the workforce at its Sydney office and cut jobs in Melbourne last month. The move was part of strict target to cut global costs by ten per cent, but raised questions about just how safe jobs were at one of our biggest miners.

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