MELBOURNE May 22 Glencore Plc will
close its Newlands underground coal mine in Australia in late
2015, opting not to extend the life of the mine amid a slump in
coal prices, the Swiss-based mining and commodities group said
Newlands is the latest victim in a round of production cuts,
mine closures and project cancellations in Australia, with
thermal coal prices stuck at 4-1/2-year lows and the Australian
dollar remaining stubbornly high.
The underground mine, which produced 2.75 million tonnes of
thermal coal last year, will reach the end of its life in the
fourth quarter of 2015, Glencore said.
Ahead of that, development work at the mine in Queensland's
Bowen Basin will end in June 2014, leading to the loss of about
50 jobs, or a quarter of the underground mine's workforce.
Glencore did not say what will happen to the remaining 150
jobs, but said it has begun consulting with staff about the
The company recently suspended operations at its Ravensworth
underground mine due to a combination of weak prices, high
production costs, a strong Australian dollar and geological
challenges in future mining areas.
(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)