Glencore Cuts Output, Jobs at Aussie Coal Mine as Prices Tumble

  • Producer to cut 180 out of 230 jobs at Collinsville mine
  • Glencore cites financial losses at mine during the year

Glencore Plc, the world’s biggest shipper of power-station coal, is cutting production and more than three-quarters of the jobs at a mine in Australia’s Queensland state after a plunge in prices.

The company will start cutting by March about 180 of 230 jobs at the Collinsville coal mine, Glencore said Monday in an e-mailed statement. The mine is taking further steps to reduce production, though the company didn’t give a number. The Swiss company said earlier this year that it would cut annual output at Collinsville by 2 million metric tons to 2.8 million tons.

Coal producers from Australia to the U.S. are facing an oversupply of thermal coal and slowing demand growth in China. Western countries are also slashing consumption to tackle global warming. Australia’s Newcastle coal price, an Asian benchmark, has tumbled to about $53 a ton since surging above $136 a ton in early 2011.

“The situation at Collinsville reflects the challenges being faced by all Australian coal mines in one of the most difficult markets in the industry’s recent history,” according to the company. 

The Australian coal mine, which is losing money this year, will halt production for almost three weeks over the Christmas period as planned, Glencore said. A number of its coal operations in Australia will temporarily stop output over that period amid weaker prices, the company said.

Peter Grauer, the chairman of Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, is a senior independent non-executive director at Glencore.

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