Home > Berrima Colliery workers leave pit for last time

Berrima Colliery workers leave pit for last time

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Workers at Boral’s Berrima Colliery have left the pit for the last time as the mine goes into care and maintenance, shedding 40 jobs.

Employees left the site on Thursday after being told last month that the mine would cease all coal mining activities.

The announcement came after plans to double output at the Southern Highland’s coal mine were rejected by the Land and Environment Court.

Boral said the move to suspend operations was a result of uncertainties arising from the planning system and the need to reduce costs in order to remain competitive in “difficult market conditions”.

“We remain disappointed that, despite a lengthy and rigorous assessment process over more than two years to secure the project approval as granted by the Government’s expert panel in 2012, this approval was overturned by the Land and Environment Court at Southern Highlands Coal Action Group’s instigation,” operations manager Stuart Hutchings said.

Recently redundant Boral employee and local Wingecarribee councillor Graham McLaughlin blamed a lack of council support for the closure of Boral’s Medway mine.

McLaughlin said council’s decision to withdraw support for the company’s proposed mining expansion in 2012 was a key factor in the company’s decision to shut shop.

"I lay the blame on the councillors who wouldn't support local jobs at the time," he said.

The coal mine which has been in operation since the 1920s provides about 220,000 tonnes of coal a year to Boral’s nearby Berrima cement Works and employs 40 people.

The company is bringing coal from West Cliff Mine for use in its cement works and also has a stockpile of about 85,000 tons from Berrima Colliery.

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