PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Coal miner New Hope has flagged a next round of redundancies as the stasis around the approval of its New Acland Stage 3 operation, in Queensland, continues.
The miner on Wednesday announced that 14% of its corporate staff have been made redundant while 15% of the workforce at its port facility, Queensland Bulk Handling (QBH), would also be made redundant, while workers at the New Acland mine site awaited a decision on the next round of redundancies.
New Hope noted that the remaining workers at its corporate office would move to a nine-day fortnight and would take a 10% reduction in pay, starting from July 1, while the logistics team members at QBH would take a near 30% decrease in salary.
CEO Shane Stephan said that the cuts would affect more than 150 staff members.
“While this is regrettable, the reduction in hours and pay for our workforce means we can keep the number of redundancies to a minimum at this point. However, continued uncertainty and delays around the approvals of Stage 3 will see production at New Acland continue to reduce and further redundancies will result across all areas of the business.
“We have delayed this move as long as possible, however, the business cannot absorb the losses at New Acland indefinitely without putting the entire business at risk.”
New Hope in 2019 lost 150 staff members at the New Acland mine to redundancies as the Stage 3 approvals lagged behind. Reserves at the current New Acland mine have been depleted, while the Stage 3 expansion would increase annual production from 4.8-million tonnes to 7.5-million tonnes and would extend the project’s mine life by about 12 years.
“The company has been doing a tremendous job in retaining its workforce despite the current pandemic and resultant economic crisis. But without our approvals we have no certainty. I find it inconceivable that, with the current economic position of the state, the government is happy to see more jobs lost when we could be creating jobs for Queensland,” said Stephan.