BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) announced the intention to cease production at Norwich Park mine indefinitely. Norwich Park mine has been losing money for several months. This situation has come about as a result of a combination of lower production, a significant increase in costs and lower coal prices. The decision to cease production follows a seven-week review of the mine’s viability. The review could not establish any immediate remedies that would allow the operation to sustainably return to profitability.
“This decision was not made lightly. However, the impact of last year’s floods, combined with lower coal prices and high costs, has resulted in an operation that is not currently viable,” said BMA Asset President Stephen Dumble. “While recent industrial action has had an impact on production, the mine has been unprofitable for some months. As a result, we have had to take urgent steps to both stop the losses and find the best way to secure the operation’s longer term future. Importantly, this decision on Norwich Park mine is not reflective of the broader quality of our world class Queensland coal operations.”
Dumble said the company would now focus on implementing measures that would enable Norwich Park to operate as a sustainably profitable, low cost mine. “Until we find viable solutions for the future of the mine, we will not re-start operations. We understand this decision will have a significant impact on our employees, their families and the Dysart community, and we are committed to supporting them during this period,” he said.
BMA will be aiming to maximize redeployment opportunities for Norwich Park employees to the Saraji mine to enable, where possible, those employees and families to remain living in Dysart.