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200 contractors cut from Anglo’s Dawson coal mine

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Anglo American will cut 200 contractor jobs at its Dawson coal mine in Queensland as the company moves to reduce operating costs.

General Manager of Dawson mine, Aaron Puna, made the announcement yesterday, blaming the operational review on sliding coal prices which has put a squeeze on the profitability of the mine.

"The continuing low coal prices have placed considerable pressure on the profitability of the Dawson operation so we will be implementing some necessary changes to address the current financial state of the operation and improve productivity," Puna said.

The contractor workforce will be affected by a redundancy process that will include a portion of voluntary redundancies.

Puna said 200 operator roles would be cut, with the axe falling on the jobs as early as the end of November.

Puna said the process would be conducted “as carefully and sensitively as possible” with the company to offer workers career advice, job searching resources and financial advisors. 

"We will now begin a consultation process with the workforce, working closely with our employee representatives and other key stakeholders during this time,” he said.

Puna said despite the cuts, Dawson mine was still one of the largest operations in Queensland, employing around 1200 people.

Many coal mines in Anglo’s Queensland portfolio have been affected by falling coal prices over the last 12 months with the company announcing it would cut coking coal production in response to weakening demand.

In June the company put its Aquila coal mine into care and maintenance, stating the operation was no longer viable.

While in July Anglo called for voluntary redundancies across its Grasstree operations in central Queensland.

The company layed off a number of workers late last year, axing 35 full time jobs at its Grasstree coal mine50 positions from its Moranbah North mine when it reduced operations down to a single longwall, and it was reported another 40 jobs were cut from its Dawson coal mine.

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