Xstrata Coal consolidated its two operating units in Australia. This will see its New South Wales and Queensland divisions combined under a single Xstrata Coal Australia operating division and management structure based in Sydney.
Parallel to this, Xstrata Coal took the opportunity to review corporate services delivered to the divisions out of its Sydney office.
“The changes in Sydney and Brisbane, announced a couple of months back, are largely complete,” an Glencore Xstrata spokesman confirmed to ILN.
The Brisbane office was in the process of being closed, he said.
The new Australia-wide operations leverage off the structure and systems in place in NSW, and are headed up by chief operating officer Ian Cribb.
In a horror week for the Australian coal industry, Glencore Xstrata last month announced that it would shed 46 jobs at its Ravensworth underground mine in NSW and Peabody Energy said it would chop 450 contractor positions at its Australian coal mines.
Plunging thermal and coking coal prices, the high Australian dollar and high wages have been blamed for the employee cuts.
Glencore has confirmed that a cutback in production from its Newlands and Oaky Creek mining operations will result in a reduction of the employees by the end of 2013.
At Oaky Creek, a decision to continue production at the Oaky North mine with only one longwall in operation will result in a reduction of approximately 150 employees, pending finalisation of the changes.
At Newlands, a cutback in production at both the underground and open cut operations will result in about 300 employees losing their jobs.
About 50 jobs will be cut immediately at Newlands and the other 250 by the end of the year – including underground and open cut mineworkers, mechanical and electrical engineers, supervisors and administrative staff.
“This is a difficult decision, but one that needs to be taken in the current challenging economic conditions,” the company said.
“The changes are part of ongoing reviews of Glencore’s coal operations in an increasingly challenging economic climate.”