Contractors have been cut at OZ Minerals’ Prominent Hill mine.
It comes as the mine reduces its throughput levels at its open cut operation as it moves to an underground mine.
“As we move into the later stages of the mine plan, the quantity of waste rock relative to the amount of ore will decrease, requiring less equipment to move material,” an OZ Minerals spokesperson told Australian Mining.
“As a direct result of the equipment needs decreasing, there will be a reduced requirement for mining undertaken by our open pit mining contractor, Thiess. This reduction in the work undertaken onsite by Thiess will impact upon the number of people working at the mine as Prominent Hill transitions to an underground-only operation.”
It is understood that around 70 workers have been let go.
Thiess, the major contractor at the site, were contacted for further comment.
UPDATE: OZ Minerals have reportedly confirmed that more than 100 workers will be cut from the operation as it moves from an open cut to an underground mine.
According to the ABC, the CFMEU has stated 100 positions will go, predominately truck driver and maintenance jobs.
However a source close to the situation told Australian Mining the figure is closer to 114 workers, and includes blast crews.
"Our take is that we would hope that they could limit the amount of job losses that are being done across the board and to make sure that it's not just the blue-collar workforce that's being cut," CFMEU acting state secretary Mick McDermott said.
OZ Minerals has stated it is working with its contractor, Thiess, to support staff, and providing 'localised outplacement services'.