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Glencore to shut Australian coal mine

World Coal,

Glencore Xstrata has announced that it will shut one of its Australian coal mines by the end of 2014.

Underground coal mining

Glencore’s Ravensworth underground coal mining operation will be the first mine suspended by the company, largely due to the sharp fall in coal prices. This closure also follows hundreds of job cuts over the last year, as Glencore looked to boost profitability at its sites. The company announced that it would stop producing coking coal from the Ravensworth mine in September.

Job losses

Glencore said it had already cut 17 jobs at the Ravensworth mine, with a further 113 at risk of redundancy as the coal mine approaches closure later in the year. The company, which has already cut over 80 jobs from the site over the past 12 months, explained it was considering the possibility of redeploying any of those workers to its other mines in Australia.

Low coal prices

"Continued operations [are] no longer financially viable due to a combination of lower prices, high production costs at the mine, a strong Australian dollar and geological constraints in future mining areas," a spokesman for the company said.

The Ravensworth underground mine produced 2.1 million tons of semisoft coking coal in 2013.

Edited from various sources by Katie Woodward

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