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Bathurst Resources axes management staff

World Coal,

Coal miner Bathurst Resources has terminated the jobs of four of its executive management team to save money.

The company’s December quarterly activities report says the cuts includes its chief financial officer and its chief operating officer, who are working out their notice period.

In total, 30 positions have been made redundant across the company’s operations over 2014.

The reduction of four of the executive management team "until such time as the market recovers" was not expected to impact the company's operational performance but would have a substantial impact on overheads, Bathurst said.

Last November, the Bathurst board was again reduced in size, with chairman Dave Frow and director Rob Lord resigning. Three directors ?remain and company secretary Graham Anderson.

Its part of the company's efforts to tighten its belt and cut costs while international coal prices remain in a slump.

Bathurst’s Managing Director, Hamish Bohannan, said “it is always a difficult decision to reduce staff numbers. These organisational changes are necessary to ensure our operations continue to remain sustainable.

“Bathurst’s domestic operations are well established and competitive in the current market. The company is now in an even stronger position to meet the challenges associated with a weaker commodity price environment with all-in sustaining costs at our operating mines allowing for healthy margins at prevailing prices,” Bohannan added.

“By focusing on improving efficiencies we will maximise the value of our existing operations through enhanced margins and cash flow generation,” Bohannan concluded.

The company ended the December quarter cashflow positive, with US$5.9 million of cash.

The New Zealand company is producing coal for the domestic market from its mine Takitimu in Southland and Cascade on the West Coast, and will resume mining at its Canterbury mine in February after a processing systems upgrade.

Production in the December quarter was 120 622 t, 35% higher than the previous quarter and 71% ahead of the same period last year.

It battled for four years for the required consents to mine Escarpment on the Denniston Plateau on the West coast. Work there was focused on installing water treatment systems, haul roads and dump areas to have the mine ready to go once international coal prices recovered.

Edited by Sam Dodson

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