Glencore has begun planning for the closure of its Tahmoore underground coal mine in New South Wales, Australia, the company said in a media statement. Under the plans, the mine would close by early 2019.
The mine has been operating since 1979 and produced 2.1 million t of metallurgical coal last year, the company said. But low prices in global coal markets now mean that the economic return from Tahmoor’s remaining reserves are “not sufficient to warrant the investment required to mine them”.
Those unsupportive economic conditions also meant that proposed projects at Tahmoor South and Tahmoor North, which would have extended operations at the site, will not be developed.
Consultations with the Tahmoor workforce has begun with the expectation that the mine’s 350 employees will be gradually reduced over the next 18 months as development work at the mine is completed. All mining is expected to end by early 2019.
“We appreciate this will be a difficult time for our employees and we will be putting support services in place to assist them, including investigation of opportunities for redeployments at other Glencore operations,” the company said.
Edited by Jonathan Rowland.