February 17, 2010 / 5:57 AM / 8 years ago

FACTBOX-Strikes persist at Xstrata's Tahmoor coal mine

Feb 17 (Reuters) - Union workers at Xstrata Plc’s XTA.L Tahmoor coal mine on Wednesday called a three-day strike, the latest in a series of work stoppages over wages and job security affecting productivity at the Australian colliery since Xstrata acquired it in 2007.[nSGE61G00E]

Here are some facts about the mine.

- Tahmoor is an underground longwall hard coking coal operation located in the southern coalfields of eastern Australia.

- Xstrata acquired the mine in October 2007 after a successful off-market takeover of Austral Coal Ltd, owner of Tahmoor, for A$557 million, lifting Xstrata’s exposure to hard coking coal at a time of significant growth within the market. It also eases Xstrata’s entry into Australia’s plentiful southern coalfields and gives immediate access to an unconstrained port.

- In the past 15 months, the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) has staged more than 320 hours, or nearly two weeks, of work stoppages at the 2 million tonnes per year mine. Weekly production at the mine is about 55,000 tonnes of coal that is used to make steel.

- Xstrata said the actions are having a “significant” impact on mine production.

- Xstrata’s production report for the 12 months ended December 31, 2009, showed an overall drop of 7 percent in coking coal production in Australia, which the report partly attributed to the stoppages at the Tahmoor mine.

- Xstrata told the CFMEU on July 31, 2009 it was cutting 158 jobs at Tahmoor, sparking more work stoppages and slow downs.

- On Feb. 2, 2010 Xstrata locked out 250 Tahmoor workers, escalating the bargaining dispute. Two days after the lock out ended, the CFMEU retaliated by calling a three-day strike. (Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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