Peabody Energy has announced it will scale back it's underground mining at their Wambo mine complex near Warkworth
With COVID-19 restrictions across the world impacting economic activity, in particular energy demand from manufacturers, there has been reduced sales for thermal coal.
Since hitting a high price of $US120/tonne in mid 2018 thermal coal prices for the higher quality 6000kcal/kg have slumped to $US50/t.
It was back in the last coal price slump of 2014/15 that workers in the underground mine were faced with job losses.
Peabody Energy released the following statement tonight:
Due to incredibly challenging market conditions caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic Peabody has made the decision to scale back production at our Wambo Underground Mine, resulting in a reduction of the workforce.
Today mine managers began open and respectful consultation with our employees. We expect to retain approximately half our workforce following the consultation period.
Where possible affected employees will be offered roles at Peabody's other operations.
The decision to ramp down production at the mine has not been taken lightly and Peabody very much regrets the impact this action will have on our loyal employees, their families and the community.
We commit that all affected employees will receive full redundancy entitlements, outplacement assistance and counselling to help them and their families adjust to this difficult news.