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Major redundancies expected for Central Queensland mine

Friday is D-day for dozens of mine workers at a 35-year-old coal project in Central Queensland.

About 700 employees are thinking about their career options as Anglo American prepares to announce major job cuts at its German Creek Underground Coal Mine, 25km southwest of Middlemount.

According to the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, the mining company has informed workers that at least 83 staff will be forcibly retrenched due to a “challenging commercial environment and unplanned delays to production”.

The decision comes after years of industrial disputes over a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement to replace the previous deal that expired back in the year 2014. Some 140 union members have gone on strike for extended periods, demanding additional clauses about job casualisation, workplace health and safety and maintaining the current rates of pay.

Meanwhile, Anglo recently announced it had completed the sale of its wholly owned interest in the Callide Thermal Coal Mine to Batchfire Resources. The share sale agreement was announced back in January 2016.

Callide comprises of an open-cut thermal coal mine and associated processing infrastructure that produced 7.9Mt of coal during 2015 (and 5.5Mt in the first nine months of 2016), the majority of which was sold to two adjacent power stations under long-term contracts.

Terms of the transaction are confidential.

Hazelwood Power Station in the Latrobe Valley will close in March 2017, leaving up to 750 people without work. Station owner ENGIE in Australia will give a generous payout averaging a reported $330,000 per person.

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