Commodities trading giant Glencore will close its West Wallsend underground coal mine in NSW next year. The company has cited tough economic conditions and a downturn in the coal industry as the reason for the closure. “Development work at the mine will be completed by the end of June this year, with all mining to end in mid-2016," Glencore announced recently. "We appreciate the impact this will have on our employees and their families, as well as the local communities and businesses supported by West Wallsend's annual spend of almost $200 million across the area." The closure will happen 6-months sooner than expected and will cut over 300 jobs.
The company says it regrets the decision but that it is a necessary move to cut costs. The mine has been active since 1969 and has produced over 2.6m tonnes of coal for Glencore. “We have 13 mining complexes in NSW and Queensland, so in these matters we always look at the possibility of redeployment at our other mines.” Some other closures are also expected to occur as the coal industry experiences a major downturn. Glencore shut its mines for three weeks over the Christmas period. It also announced that it would cut coal production in Australia by 15 per cent and cut an additional 120 jobs. The commodities and mining company said it was attempting to make adequate steps to tailor its portfolio to meet customer demand. The company is currently traded on the London, Hong Kong and Johannesburg exchanges, but reports from last year claim that the company has been considering trading on the ASX.