Peabody to cut 170 coal mining jobs in Australia
SYDNEY: Peabody Energy Group, the world’s largest private-sector coal miner, said it will cut 170 jobs across Australia – or about 5.7 per cent of its total workforce in the country – as it looks to reduce costs amid a global glut in coal supply.
Weak coal prices have battered producers in recent quarters, prompting many of them, including Glencore Xstrata, to cut jobs.
Peabody, which in June announced its plans to slash 450 contractor jobs in Australia, also said that it would not fill 230 vacancies in the country.
“This difficult decision has been made in response to near-term global economic challenges,” a company spokesperson said, referring to the reduction of 400 permanent positions in Australia. “The reduction has been made to align the company’s workforce size with other cost-reduction activities.”
The cuts, which started on July 22, would take place across Peabody’s operations in the coal-rich eastern Australian states of Queensland and New South Wales, where it produces both coking and thermal coal.
Prices for thermal coal, used for power generation, have fallen over 30 per cent in the past two years to around US$80 per tonne, while prices for coking coal, used for steelmaking, have shed about 40 per cent in the past year to around US$130 per tonne.
Peabody shares have plunged almost 39 per cent so far this year, on track for a third straight annual decline.