In a statement to InDaily this morning, Oz Minerals said about 100 Thiess contract workers at the Prominent Hill mine would lose their jobs “over the next few months”.
Oz Minerals stated the workers’ positions were being “demobilised” as Prominent Hill’s open pit came to the end of its lifecycle.
“Like all mining projects, Prominent Hill is evolving,” the company said.
“The open pit is moving to its final stages whilst the underground mine is rapidly expanding.
“As the open pit reaches its final depth, the amount of waste rock relative to the amount of ore is decreasing and the space in which the equipment can move is reducing which means less equipment and people are required.
“As a result, approximately 100 people working at the Prominent Hill open pit mine will be demobilised over the next few months.”
The copper producer stated all staff were being updated on the changes and Thiess was running retraining programs for retrenched staff.
“OZ Minerals understands the impact Prominent Hill’s transition can have on individuals and are working with Thiess to support people as best possible.
“It is important to understand that Prominent Hill’s underground mine is expanding and is expected to operate for the next decade.”
Prominent Hill is a copper-gold mining operation in South Australia’s northern region and produces some of the highest grades of copper concentrate traded on the open market.
Coming on stream in 2009, Prominent Hill trucks out more than 100,000 tonnes of copper every year.
Prominent Hill is the first SA resource operation for 2016 to announce fresh job cuts following a turbulent time for resources last year with hundreds of workers losing their jobs at sites around the state.
Arrium, Alinta, BHP Billiton and now Oz Minerals are some of the big players to cut hundreds staff to try to regain financial control following the worldwide plunge in commodity prices.
Oz Minerals moved its headquarters to Adelaide from Melbourne last year after striking a $10 million deal with the State Government.
InDaily has contacted Thiess for comment.
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