CQ coal mine shuts, cost­ing re­gion 250 jobs

The Morning Bulletin - - NEWS WELCOME -

A COAL mine in Cen­tral Queens­land has just been moth­balled de­spite the surge in global prices.

The Aus­tralian news­pa­per re­ported this week that the Bur­ton coal mine 290km north-west of Rock­hamp­ton, was qui­etly put on care and main­te­nance last month.

This comes in the wake of ex­tra coal earn­ings for the mine’s owner Pe­abody En­ergy, which is ex­pect­ing a $US562 mil­lion ($767m) Aus­tralian wind­fall from its pre­vi­ously loss-mak­ing mines.

Pe­abody has con­firmed the Bur­ton mine, which was its high­est-cost Aus­tralian mine pro­duc­ing ther­mal and cok­ing coal, had closed.

“The tran­si­tion of the Bur­ton mine in Queens­land’s Bowen Basin into a care, main­te­nance and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion phase (was com­pleted) in De­cem­ber 2016 fol­low­ing suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of the Thiess con­trac­tor min­ing con­tract,” a Pe­abody spokesman said yes­ter­day.

In Au­gust, Pe­abody En­ergy’s cred­i­tors ap­proved a plan that in­volved a ma­jor scal­ing back of pro­duc­tion at its Aus­tralian as­sets and the clo­sure of its Bur­ton mine.

It was be­lieved 247 jobs would be lost.

Thiess has re­port­edly re­fused to com­ment on the mine clo­sure or job losses.

The Aus­tralian re­ported the St Louis-based Pe­abody, whose huge US do­mes­tic mines make it the world’s big­gest pri­vate-sec­tor coal com­pany, had re­leased up­dated earn­ings fore­casts for the next five years show­ing the healthy earn­ings from its Aus­tralian mines.

Bur­ton Mine, about 290km north west of Rocky

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