Amid slumping demand, Arrium Mining Ltd. will cut nearly 600 jobs by closing its Southern Iron project in Coober Pedy, South Australia, officials said; 200 full-time positions will be impacted, along with 380 contractors.

Sydney-based representatives said they had little choice. “One of the concerns we had was that this could put the entire business in jeopardy,” said Greg Waters, chief mining executive.

Losses will be felt across the region near Adelaide; officials are also mothballing the Whyalla outer harbor, with local iron ore exports falling to 9 million annual tons from 13 million tons.