Jobs go as iron ore miner halts production

Posted on 07/07/2019 / Posted by admin / Category 深圳桑拿网

More than 500 people are set to lose their jobs as Atlas Iron suspends all mining operations because of plunging iron ore prices.

深圳桑拿网

The West Australian miner will cease all operations by the end of April, as aggressive cost cutting has been unable to offset the financial impact of steep falls in the price of Australia’s largest export.

“To suspend our operations, with the impact that will have on so many committed and talented people, is an extremely difficult decision,” managing director Ken Brinsden said.

“I sincerely thank all those who have worked so hard to build Atlas’ production base and those who have worked furiously to maintain Atlas’ competitive position over the past 15 months, in the face of increasingly oppressive market conditions.”

Approximately 500 people work at the company’s mines, including direct employees and contractors, with a further 75 staff in its Perth office.

The price of iron ore has more than halved in the past year, and Atlas Iron’s break-even price remains well above the current spot price, which recently hit a 10-year low below $US50 a tonne.

All of its mines will be put on care and maintenance, pending future market conditions.

“Atlas expects prices will ultimately increase,” the company said.

“However, the timing of a recovery is unclear, leaving Atlas with little choice but to take decisive action to protect its balance sheet and resource position.”

Discussions will be held with the company’s banks to ensure its projects can be re-started when either costs can be further reduced, or prices rise, Atlas said.

Analysts are increasingly predicting iron ore prices to stay low, precipitating a rash of collapses among small and mid-sized miners.

The decision by Atlas will have other workers in the industry worried, particularly those employed among similar sized companies such as Mt Gibson Iron and BC Iron, also believed to be losing money at current prices.

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