Production has restarted at Glencore’s Collinsville mine after a closure of more than four months.
Glencore restarted the open cut operation this week as owner-operator after announcing last year it would take control of the mine away from contractor Thiess.
The mine has been closed since September as Glencore looked to implement new employee contracts, larger mining equipment and a new mining plan to keep the operation viable.
The company said it met with key community representatives and business owners last week, providing details on the mine’s restart, plans to return to full production by the end of 2014, and the opportunities available to local communities as activity on the site ramps up.
Work at the mine will be undertaken by around 50 employees initially, with plans to ramp these numbers up to 250 people by the end of the year.
Glencore says local businesses are also being given assistance with registrations that will enable them to provide services to the mine, including but not limited to earthmoving, quarry supplies, trade maintenance, and small equipment hire.
“We appreciate the impacts experienced by the mine’s temporary closure,” a Glencore spokesperson said.
“But the changes are needed to give the mine its best chance of a long-term future, provide ongoing employment to significant numbers of people, and flow-on benefits to a variety of local businesses and the wider community.”
Tensions in the small Collinsville community started to simmer soon after the mine’s closure when it was revealed the 400 workers who lost their jobs as a result of the changes would not receive preference under the new Glencore model.
The company say previous workplace agreements are restrictive and want to re-hire workers under differing contracts which are “modern and flexible”.
The CFMEU has vowed to take legal action against the miner.