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Xstrata Coal  blames high $A, low prices  for  job cuts
Xstrata Coal blames high $A, low prices for job cuts

Employment in the resources industry took another blow today when Xstrata Coal announced it would cut 600 jobs.

The Swiss-owned coal miner, who blamed falling coal prices and the high Australian dollar for the cuts, said contractors and permanent Xstrata Coal staff would be affected.

It did did not reveal how many jobs will be cut from each of its sites.

Most of Xstrata Coal's Australian operations are located in the Hunter Valley in NSW and Queensland's Bowen Basin.

The company employs 16,000 people worldwide, and says the majority are located in Australia.

Xstrata Coal said the job cuts would be made as it scaled back high cost production at some of its mines.

"We do not expect a material impact on Australian production volumes," the company said.

"We are also reducing some roles at our corporate headquarters in Sydney and consolidating our office-based operations in Queensland."

The restructure was implemented in response to "industry-wide pressures including low coal prices, high input costs and a strong Australian dollar against the US dollar," Xstrata Coal said.

Approved growth and expansion projects, at Ravensworth North and Ulan West in NSW and Rolleston in Queensland would proceed as planned, it said.

Xstrata Coal is based in Sydney, and is controlled by Switzerland-based-based resources giant Xstrata.

The Swiss company's nickel arm, Xstrata Nickel Australiasia which is based in Perth, operates the Cosmos operation and Sinclair open-pit mine in the northern Goldfields..

The Cosmos project employs 600 people.