THE company that owns Cannington Mine will lay-off at least 772 employees and contractors across three of its Australian sites by the end of the financial year.
However there is some relief for local workers with the Cannington underground silver and lead mine in McKinlay not listed among these numbers for immediate cutbacks.
Instead the job losses will come from from South32’s Australia Manganese (Northern Territory and Tasmania), Illawarra Metallurgical Coal (New South Wales), and Western Australia’s Worsley Alumina as part of cost restructurings.
South32 was spun off from BHP Billiton eight months ago.
In the six months to the end of December the company lost $US1.75 billion ($2.43 billion) which is a stunning turnaround from the Perth-based company's $US339 million profit from the year before.
The company’s half year financial results said South32 was leaning towards value for its money rather than in volume.
However, in saying that, the number of employees and contractors at Cannington will or has reduced from the 2015 financial year to the end of the 2017 financial year.
In the 2015 Financial Year there were 990 employees working at Cannington.
The company expects there to be 820 employees at the mine by the end of the 2017 Financial Year.
Cannington spokesman Graeme Nielsen said the mine was not affected by South32’s announcement this week regarding 772 job cuts.
The reduction in employees already had been made at the mine and through its former Townsville based office when South32 was created as a subsidiary of BHP Billiton last year.
“It’s already been done already and we’re sitting at about 800 now,” Mr Nielsen said.
“We did a lot of our work early on.”
South32 is sating it projects a drop in its silver production as well.
In 2015 the payable silver production was 22.6 million ounces, in 2016 it is projected at 21.6 million ounces and at the end of the 2017 financial year it will be 19.5 million ounces.
Mr Nielsen attributed this to the declining grade of the ore body which was projected to be mined in the next seven years however there could be a potential production increase in several years time.
Annual payable lead production is 183 kt in 2015 and decreases to an annual projection goal of 168 kt at the end of the 2017 financial year.
Zinc increases from 72 kt in 2015 to 78 kt at the end of 2017, but peaks to 80 kt in 2016.