December 7, 2015 / 6:20 AM / 4 years ago

Glencore to cut more Australia coal output as price sinks

SYDNEY, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Commodities group Glencore said it will idle its loss-making Collinsville colliery in Australia for three weeks starting later this month and will restrict production next year as thermal coal prices deteriorate.

Glencore said it would also lay off 80 percent of the remaining staff at the mine in Queensland state early next year with the loss of 180 jobs, having already cut 80 positions in May.

“In 2016, we will phase down overburden removal and only produce coal from in-pit inventory and field stockpiles,” Glencore said in a statement emailed to Reuters. “We will reassess the situation during the year.”

Collinsville produced 2.24 million tonnes of thermal coal along with some coking coal in 2014, according to Glencore data.

The world’s biggest thermal coal exporter, Glencore overall shipped 38.8 million tonnes from Australia in the first nine months of 2015.

A 43 percent fall in thermal coal prices over the past 26 months and a supply glut had contributed to Collinsville’s financial losses, it said.

The main job cuts will be in place by the beginning of March 2016.

Glencore said in February that it would reduce its Australian coal production by 15 percent in 2015 to avoid selling at a discount into an oversupplied market. (Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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