Queensland miner New Hope Coal will cut five per cent of its workforce due to the weak coal environment.
New Hope Coal is axing five per cent of its workforce as it struggles with the current downturn in the coal industry.
The company’s “efficiency review” concluded that the jobs had to go to cut costs and get the miner through the current depressed coal market.
New Hope employs about 600 people, meaning about 30 people so far are affected.
However the business review is ongoing and more cuts could be announced by the Queensland-based thermal coal producer.
Those affected so far work at the West Moreton mine near Ipswich and its corporate office.
New Hope chief executive Shane Stephan said the industry had been hit hard with a significant drop in the coal price, coupled with a strong Australian dollar.
This means costs are above the coal price for many miners.
“The continuing difficult times for the coal industry have required some difficult decisions to be taken regarding employment to allow the company to endure this low point in the cycle and emerge in the best shape possible when conditions improve,” he said.
There has been a slew of job losses, mine closures and cost cutting in recent months among Australian-based thermal and coking coal producers including BHP Billiton, Glencore and Vale in what is an over-supplied market.
New Hope’s update on Thursday showed it lifted production by 18 per cent to 1.4 million tonnes for the three months to the end of April, but sales fell 17 per cent to 1.3 million tonnes from last year.
The company’s shares were up one cent to $2.99 at 1148 AEST.