Yanzhou Coal to Cut 400 Jobs in Australia to Lower Costs

Yanzhou Coal Mining Co., China’s fourth-largest producer of the fuel, plans to cut about 400 jobs at its two Australian units to save costs amid weak coal prices.

The units employ about 3,000, mostly Australian, workers, Zhang Baocai, Yanzhou Coal’s Shandong-based spokesman, said today in a phone interview. Yanzhou Coal reported a net loss of 2.07 billion yuan ($338 million) in the first six months after coal prices in China, the world’s biggest market for the fuel, dropped to a four-year low.

The job cuts were reported earlier today by Hong Kong’s Ming Pao newspaper, citing Chief Financial Officer Wu Yuxiang. Wu also that said all of the company’s temporary workers in China would be laid off, the paper reported.

“Cutting employees in Australia was because we shut down a coal mine there and cannot retain employees while production is idle,” Zhang said. “Over time, we will maintain a reasonable size of workforce in our Australian units as we plan to stay in the country for a long time.” Zhang didn’t name the shuttered mine.

Yanzhou Coal will reduce full-year capital expenditure to 6.1 billion yuan, half of its previous target, and reduce its production target for 2015 to between 120 million to 130 million tons from 150 million tons, according to CFO Wu, the Ming Pao reported.

Power-station coal in China fell to a four-year low, a range of 560 yuan to 575 yuan a metric ton, on July 28 as industrial demand declined amid evidence the economy is slowing, the China Coal Transport and Distribution Association said July 29.

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