It's more than just an excellent news service.

It's about becoming part of the mining and gas community.

Subscribing to Shift Miner means you can get full access to all our news and special reports, advertise anything you want in the classifieds (print & digital) and browse the jobs board.

So no matter where your job takes you, you're just a click away from the best source of mining information on mobile, in print and online.

DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION: $4.99 a week
Includes full access to all areas on smartphone*, ipad and online.
*Download the free iphone app from itunes

STILL NOT SURE?
Click here to sign up for our free news headlines service: The WINO (Wednesday’s Industrial News Online)

Email [username]:

Name:

Coupon Code:
Leave blank if you don't have one
Password:

Confirm Password:

Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy
Melanie and Chevy Ohl Greg Byrne, Downing; Ian Reed, QNP Sgt Rob Smith and Constable Paul Muller csg Aboutusgeneric_1 Bhabie and Paul Dickens The Hamilton family Aboutusgeneric_2 (L-R) Charlie Swaffield and Friend, Jayden and Eathan Little and Rylee Flint dragline fifo (L-R) Sebastion Rayfield, Vincent Rayfield, Trishelle Avu and Tayla Thorpe Construction Sgt Rob Smith and Constable Paul Muller Jo-Anne Burke, DB Scaffolding; Susan McGuire, Mayogroup
Melanie and Chevy Ohl Greg Byrne, Downing; Ian Reed, QNP Sgt Rob Smith and Constable Paul Muller csg Aboutusgeneric_1 Bhabie and Paul Dickens The Hamilton family Aboutusgeneric_2 (L-R) Charlie Swaffield and Friend, Jayden and Eathan Little and Rylee Flint dragline fifo (L-R) Sebastion Rayfield, Vincent Rayfield, Trishelle Avu and Tayla Thorpe Construction

Isaac Plains mothballed
Wednesday 01 October 2014  

THE Queensland coal industry has been trapped in a severe downturn for 18 months, but the 1000 jobs axed this week have been an unexpectedly strong blow.

The latest victim of poor prices and an oversupplied world market is Vale and Sumitomo’s joint venture project, the Isaac Plains mine near Moranbah.

About 300 contractors will lose their jobs at the site, as it moves into ‘care and maintenance’ before operations wind down completely by January.

It follows BMA’s announcement that 700 jobs will go across its Central Queensland sites except for Hay Point coal terminal and Gregory Crinum mine.

“It’s a slow painful decline that every week seems to bring more bad news,” said CQUniversity resource economist Professor John Rolfe.

“The industry was thinking it was at the bottom.

“It’s been assumed that steaming coal producers and smaller players are under the most pressure but what’s remarkable is that with BMA’s announcement it seems the big guys in the coking coal scene are not immune either.”

Despite the blanket negativity surrounding the sector, Professor Rolfe said while more job losses and cost cutting might occur in the future, he doubted mines would close for good.

“I think the industry will look to mothball operations rather than close them down permanently because there are still some predictions that this is a cyclical downturn and demand for coking and steaming coal will increase again,” he said.

“It’s just that it’s a long time between drinks for the industry, especially when they walked into the downturn with such high cost structures.”

Professor Rolfe said he believed there would be an upswing again for the sector, despite a number of structural changes in the world arena including China’s move from a building to consumer phase.

“I definitely sit in the cyclical camp,” he said.

“We will never see a boom like we saw in the last 10 years every again, but demand for coal will grow and the market with increase, but it could be a couple of years before prices recover.”

Professor Rolfe said considering the gravity of the downturn he’s been surprised at how resilient the local Central Queensland economy has been.

“Everyone tells you it’s tough, but there are a lot of supply chain businesses who are still open and managing to hang in there,” he said.


Similar Topics